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Super Bowl LVII flyover to commemorate 50 years of women flying in the US Navy

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

The military fly-over at Super Bowl LVII will commemorate 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy and will show off the electronic capabilities of the elite aircraft, military officials announced. Three U.S. Navy tactical aircraft squadrons will fly over State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona immediately following the playing of the National Anthem on Sunday, Feb. 12.

The fly-over team for Super Bowl LVII includes, from left to right, Lt. Arielle Ash of Abilene, Texas; Lt. Margaret Dente of North Salem, New York; Lt. Naomi Ngalle of Springfield, Virginia; Lt. Jacqueline Drew of Waltham, Massachusetts; Lt. Suzelle Thomas of Birmingham, Alabama; and, Lt. Kathryn Martinez, also of Springfield, Virginia. (Image from U.S. Navy Office of Information)


Lt. Naomi Ngalle, who will be one of the pilots participating in the flyover, told Fox News Digital that she was honored to be among those selected to represent the Navy in celebrating 50 years since the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, Florida.


"I am humbled and proud to be a part of a team of professional aviators and maintainers. All of the people on this team represent the hard work and sacrifice that comes with serving in the Armed Forces," Ngalle said. "Additionally, I am elated at the opportunity to potentially inspire the next generation of female aviators and maintainers."

Lt. Lyndsey Evans and Lt. Margaret Dente, both Naval Aviators attached to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, exit an EA-18G Growler after arriving at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Feb. 7, 2023. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aron Montano)

The 2023 commemoration comes 50 years after the first women enrolled in the U.S. Navy flight program in 1973. Six of the eight initial enrollees, titled "The First Six," earned their Wings of Gold the following year. Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, one of the Navy’s first female jet pilots , passed away January 24, 2019, following a long and brave fight with cancer.

Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, one of the Navy’s first female jet pilots , passed away January 24, 2019, following a long and brave fight with cancer. (U.S. Navy)

Lt. Ngalle said these women inspire her "daily" as "the level of adversity they faced in training was insurmountable."

(video courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/@WUSA9news)

"Their professionalism and perseverance serves as the framework for the standard I strive to maintain and exude when leading the next generation of aviators and maintainers," she said.

Following their leadership, in the decades since, women have served, sacrificed, led, operated, and fought at every level of Naval Aviation.


Like the "First Six," Lt. Ngalle said she too has had to overcome obstacles along her journey to becoming a successful pilot.


"Flight training is challenging. To be frank, there were events where I didn't meet the mark. Coping with failure and utilizing it as a tool to take away feedback and improve yourself for the next evolution was a skill I had difficulty developing," she explained. "Once I understood the value of failing in training, it opened my aperture to how much more tactical I could be to better defend the Nation."


The flyover formation will include two F/A-18F Super Hornets from the "Flying Eagles" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 and an F-35C Lightning II from the "Warhawks" of VFA-97, both squadron personnel based at Naval Air Station (NAS) in Lemoore, California.


They will be joined by an EA-18G Growler from the "Vikings" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 based at NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.


Two EA-18G Growlers, attached to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, arrive at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Feb. 7, 2023, in preparation for their flyover of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aron Montano)

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