First Fixed-Wing Combat Sortie Flown by an Afghan Air Force Female Pilot

Afghanistan’s first female Air Force pilot of a fixed-wing aircraft, Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, is visiting San Diego this week to meet Marine aviators and fly with the Blue Angels flight demonstration team.

According to the San Diego Diplomacy Council, which is helping to arrange her five-day trip, Rahmani was 18 when she saw that the Afghan Air Force was recruiting young women for pilot training. She graduated from flight school in two years and now flies the C-208, a small, single-engine cargo aircraft based on a Cessna Caravan.

Rahmani was recognized by first lady Michelle Obama as one of the 10 honorees for the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

Her San Diego visit will include a back-seat ride with the Navy’s Blue Angels, recognition at an International Women’s Day event at the Women’s Museum of California, meetings with aviators at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and lunch with the CEO of the Girl Scouts USA, according to the diplomacy group.

She will also meet with San Diego community leaders and Girl Scout members.

—City News Service