HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force reduces barriers for pregnant aviators

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

The Air Force recently updated a policy to reduce restrictions on pregnant women who perform flight duties.

Effective immediately, remotely piloted aircrew, missile operations duty crews and certain fully qualified pilots are authorized to perform their assigned duties during pregnancy without a medical waiver.

“We recognize that each pregnancy is as unique as our professional female aviators we trust to operate our weapon systems,” said Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, Air Force surgeon general. “We’re empowering women to work closely with their obstetrician and flight medicine providers to pick a path that is tailored to their individual needs, while ensuring we’re doing everything to support them throughout their pregnancy.”

Hogg further explained that no Airman will ever be forced to fly while pregnant, even those pregnancies deemed as uncomplicated by medical professionals. Airmen who have pregnancies without complications and choose to continue to fly may change their mind at any time.

The change, reflected in the Medical Standards Directory, is one of several policy adjustments made in recent months intended to remove obstacles female Airmen face when considering long-term service in the Air Force.

“We are also reviewing occupational hazards in the aviation environment to see if we can open up the opportunities for trained aircrew to perform flight duties on the full portfolio of Air Force platforms,” said Lt. Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, Air Force director of staff and advisor on the Air Force’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts. “We’re focused on eliminating barriers in our existing policies that signal to female Airmen and potential recruits that becoming a parent and being an aviator, controller or missile operator in our service are incompatible.”

This latest move eliminated a standardized regulation regarding pregnancy and created a policy that’s fully informed by the member’s individual situation and the advice of her professional medical team.

“Pregnancy is a planning factor that our Air Force policy makers and line commanders need to incorporate into daily business,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations. “As more women join the aviation workforce in the 21st century, we are taking proactive steps to ensure that our policies are revised now — to effectively execute the mission, retain our current workforce and attract the next generation of Air Force aviators.”

Changes were made to the existing process for Airmen who are fully qualified to fly, which expanded the time parameters for flying while pregnant, eliminated the requirement for a higher headquarters waiver (for Airmen with uncomplicated pregnancies to be able to return to flight), and delegated authorities regarding the issue down to the local level.

"I am excited that our trained aircrew now have expanded options to continue maintaining their flying proficiency and essential qualifications in the air during pregnancy,” said Lt. Col. Jammie Jamieson, Air Force chief of reserve operations integration, fighter pilot and member of the Air Force Women’s Initiative Team. “Flying is a sport and a perishable skill, so being able to minimize time out of the air helps preserve their individual skills and readiness, and retains the Air Force's significant investment in them."

Jamieson, who was the first operationally qualified female F-22 Raptor pilot assigned to a combat coded unit and is a parent of three, stressed the importance of ongoing policy reform.

"I'm really proud to be part of the team supporting the CSAF's (Air Force chief of staff’s) vision for our Air Force to better represent the demographic and cultural diversity of the nation we are privileged to serve,” Jamieson continued. “The Women's Initiative Team has done a lot of work this past year to tackle many of these policy barriers. Destigmatizing pregnancy across the aviation workforce is essential in attracting female citizens to join our Air Force team.”

Worldwide mobility restrictions applied to all Airmen during pregnancy remain in place.

Engage

Twitter
Department of the Air Force announces mandatory COVID vaccine implementation guidelines for Airmen, Guardians. https://t.co/Arfo5d4yOe
Twitter
An @AFTestCenter engineer used his expertise in building drones to develop a system that brings the Benefield Anech… https://t.co/DKBVA8Isqa
Twitter
As technology swiftly evolves, so do #USAF cyber Airmen. Cyber leaders have embraced @GenCQBrownJr's vision of ac… https://t.co/cLaxcdvAeq
Twitter
The @AusAirForce joined forces with U.S. #Airmen to participate in RED FLAG-Alaska 21-3 at @EielsonAirForce, Alaska… https://t.co/lEHHU5OAst
Twitter
The 71st Rescue Squadron from Moody AFB, Georgia, became the first HC-130J Combat King II operational unit to recei… https://t.co/6OgC5aKwyu
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s message to #Airmen & #Guardians leading into #LaborDay weekend: “I want to thank you, and those who…
Twitter
#AirForce & @IAF_MCC signed a landmark agreement to co-develop Air-Launched UAVs under the U.S.-India Defense Techn… https://t.co/B8sHX92G7N
Twitter
Capt. Joseph Scerra, an F-15C Eagle pilot, is the first 159th FW pilot to complete a sortie w/ the F-35A. The miles… https://t.co/HCi9TnGn5S
Twitter
The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
Twitter
The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
Twitter
Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
Twitter
The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
Twitter
Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
Twitter
Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,372,108
Follow Us