This all-female Coast Guard helicopter crew out of the McKinleyville Coast Guard unit in California is the first of its kind.
The Sector Humboldt Bay Coast Guard unit has seen an increase in female Coasties overall, even in the aviation field where women still only represent about seven percent of the total pilot population, according to Women in Aviation International.
"The Coast Guard is striving to increase the number of women in the organization overall, not only in aviation,” said Lt. Audra Forteza, a Sector Humboldt Bayaircraft commander. "It's wonderful that our small unit has enough females that we can show young women in the community that they do have these kind of opportunities and hopefully we can inspire them to pursue their career dreams and grow up to be whatever they want to be."
Sector Humboldt Bay's area of responsibility consists of 250 miles of rugged coastline from the Mendocino-Sonoma County line north to the California-Oregon border.