USA

US Navy Welcomes First Black Female Tactical Jet Pilot

Lieutenant junior grade Madeline Swegle will receive her Wings of Gold later this month.

The US Navy has appointed its first known black female tactical jet pilot.

Lieutenant (junior grade) Madeline Swegle has completed her Tactical Air (Strike) Aviator training and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month.

She trained as part of VT-21 Redhawks training squadron at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas. 

According to reports, Lt Jg Swegle could go on to fly aircraft including F-35C fighter jets and the EA-18G Growler.

On Twitter, the US Chief of Naval Air Training congratulated Lt Jg Swegle, saying "BZ" - an abbreviation of 'Bravo Zulu' which is a navy term for well done.

The US Navy's Vice Chief of Information, Rear Admiral Paula Dunn, also tweeted her support, saying: "Very proud of LTJG Swegle. Go forth and kick butt." 

The US Navy also tweeted: "MAKING HISTORY!"

Other well-known figures also paid tribute to Lt Jg Swegle, including former world number one tennis player Billie Jean King and Scott Kelly, the former astronaut and US Navy captain.

Lt Jg Swegle completed her training at Naval Air Station Kingsville (Picture: @CNATRA/Twitter).

Last month, the US Defense Secretary announced he was launching an internal review aimed at promoting diversity in the American military. 

Mark Esper said he hoped it will ensure "equal opportunity" and outlined three initiatives designed to "build a better US military".

Lt Jg Swegle's achievement comes 46 years after the first woman flew a tactical jet aircraft in the US Navy, according to reports. 

Cover image: Madeline Swegle stood next to an aircraft at Naval Air Station Kingsville (Picture: @CNATRA/Twitter).