Helicopter pilot becomes 1st female Marine to pilot F-35 jet

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FILE – In this Tuesday, May 21, 2019 file photo, a F-35B aircraft lands at Akrotiri Royal air forces base near coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus. Britain’s defense secretary said the country’s most advanced military aircraft, the Lightning F-35B, that is undergoing training at a British air base in Cyprus has flown its first missions over Syria and Iraq as part of the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group, in a statement issued Tuesday June 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — A former commercial helicopter pilot has become the first female Marine to pilot the F-35, a next-generation joint strike fighter aircraft.

The Island Packet reports Capt. Anneliese Satz completed her fighter jet training this summer at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Satz trained in Mississippi, Florida and Texas over the past four years before arriving in Beaufort last summer to train in the F-35B Lightning II. A station statement says Satz’s aircraft is a supersonic stealth vessel designed to operate from short-field bases and near front-line combat zones.

The statement says the 29-year-old Satz credits her history as a commercial helicopter pilot as what prepared her for a career in military aviation. She’s now headed to Iwakuni, Japan, to join a unit called the Green Knights.

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