A commercial helicopter pilot from Idaho has become the first woman in the Marine Corps to fly an F-35 fighter jet, a supersonic stealth aircraft.
Marine Capt. Anneliese Satz, a 29-year-old Boise native, completed her training program this past June at South Carolina’s Air Station Beaufort, the Marine Corps announced last week. Satz’s training lasted four years, taking her to bases in Florida, Texas and Mississippi.
“The first flight in an F-35 is by yourself,” Satz said. "The syllabus thoroughly prepares you for that first time you take off and for every flight after that, it’s an exhilarating experience."
Now, with over 300 flight hours under her belt, Satz is set to pilot the F-35B Lightning II as part of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the Green Knights, in Iwakuni, Japan. The aircraft is designed to operate from short-field bases and near front-line combat zones, the Corps said.