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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | June 1, 2012

Retiree News

By Retiree Activity Office

Women Pilots Showed Perseverance
In 1930, the idea of using women pilots was considered "unfeasible." However, an increased need for World War II combat pilots favored the use of experienced women pilots to fly aircraft on non-combat missions as civilians. More than 1,000 women served with the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs).
In 1943, these two units were merged into the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program. More than 25,000 women applied for pilot training under the WASP program - 1,074 graduated and 916 remained when the program was disbanded in 1944. Flight nurses were members of the military from the beginning. The first class of Army Nurse Corps flight nurses graduated in 1943.
About 500 nurses served with 31 medical air evacuation transport squadrons. When the Air Force became a separate military service in 1947, some Women's Army Corps chose to transfer to the Women's Air Force (WAFs). In 1976, women were accepted into the Air Force on an equal basis with men and the WAF program ended.

Shortly afterward, women entered pilot training as military personnel. By 1993, women were engaged in fighter pilot training. Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms, member of the first class of women Air Force Academy graduates, was also the first American military woman in space as part of the space shuttle Endeavor team.

Women make up 19 percent of all Air Force military personnel and 30.5 percent of all civilian personnel. Of the female officers, 55 percent are line officers.

DFAS Warns of Scam

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service warns of e-mail scams targeting military members, retirees and civilian employees. E-mails that appear to come from DFAS, claim that individuals receiving disability compensation from the VA may be eligible for additional funds from the Internal Revenue Service if they send copies of their income tax information.

While the DFAS e-mail address has been spoofed, this has not compromised customer accounts, according to Steve Burghardt, a DFAS spokesman.

"We are always on the lookout and take steps to educate folks." DFAS is developing pages on its website to highlight e-mail policy, illustrate examples of scam e-mails and give law enforcement agencies information that can initiate an investigation. "As long as you keep your log-in credentials private, your account is pretty much assured a fairly decent amount of security," Burghardt said.

Library Programs

Air Force libraries - all 74 of them -- encourage and support a love of reading among military children and families. This year's theme is "Reading is so Delicious!" and library visitors may participate in a variety of free activities.

"We've got a great program planned for our libraries this summer," said Margie Buchanan, Air Force Services Agency libraries division chief. "We have programs, activities and books for readers of all ages to have fun and keep reading skills sharp over the summer."

Participants will be offered incentives such as T-Shirts and metal lunch boxes to encourage them to increase their reading skills. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer, Buchanan said.

For more information about summer reading programs, stop by the Joint Base Andrews Library or call 301- 981-6454. You can also stop by the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Library or call 202-767-5578.