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Jordan’s first female helicopter pilot trains in USA

Posted 7 November 2019 · Add Comment

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s first female rotary-wing aviator, Cadet Aya Basheer Ibrahim Al Sourany, recently underwent UH-60 Black Hawk virtual flight training at the Fort Indiantown Gap (FTIG) National Guard Training Center, writes Jon Lake.

She is one of a large group of Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) aviators who have conducted training on the UH-1 Huey and UH-60 Black Hawk over the past 25 years.
Numerous US and international students have been trained by the Pennsylvania National Guard at the FTIG and the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site, which includes Muir Army Airfield.
Cadet Al Sourany, who gained a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering, enlisted in the RJAF and completed basic combat training in Jordan in October 2016. She subsequently completed the US Army initial entry rotary wing (IERW) course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, graduating in 2018 with military ratings on the OH-58 Kiowa and UH-60 Blackhawk.
The cadet is also a graduate of the RJAF advanced tactical training course, allowing her to fly Jordan’s latest UH-60M Black Hawk variant.
These aircraft are now operated by the RJAF, having previously been considered to be Army assets. During 2018, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) helicopters were transferred to the air force, forming a new quick-reaction force that was merged with the Prince Hashim Bin Abdullah II Royal Aviation Brigade.
The RJAF’s No8 Squadron, part of the Prince Hashim Bin Abdullah II Royal Aviation Brigade at King Abdullah II Airbase, has taken delivery of 12 UH-60Ms, allowing the squadron to ‘cascade’ most of its surplus ex-US Army UH-60As to No14 Squadron.
Two ex-No8 Squadron UH-60As have been transferred to No7 Squadron at King Abdullah Airbase Amman/Marka for medevac duties, augmenting a pair of Super Pumas.
Eight ex-US Army UH-60Ls, previously used by No8 Squadron, have been put up for sale.
The Eastern AATS commander, Colonel Todd J Tuttle, met with the group of RJAF aviators, including Cadet Al Sourany, who was presented with a commander’s coin in recognition of her accomplishments.


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