On Feb. 28, 2018, a launch crew comprising of 35 women took over the job of launching aircraft from the flight deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The 35 women made history by launching 35 aircraft on the last day of February in the Persian Gulf. This was the first time in the ship’s 32-year history that a launch crew was mostly women.
“I’m kind of speechless about it, honestly,” said Lt. Elizabeth “Lana” Grider, an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter pilot.
Grider served as a yellow-clad “shooter” said that
“I’m extremely proud of this team. This started at the deck plate level, not the officers,” she said. “They wanted to do this for themselves and take this unique opportunity to launch aircraft with an all-female launch crew, which doesn’t happen too often.”
Although shooter Grider said that the female crews joined together on Feb. 28 to prove something to themselves — not the U.S. Navy or the country — news about the launches began to ripple far beyond the Persian Gulf, spread by social media.
“My hope is that a young woman or a young girl might see this story and be inspired to work on a flight deck, too,” Grider said. “You can do this. We proved that.”