Sara Oliveira de Souza Mendes, Larissa Somera Pereira da Silva, Carla Victória Melo de Farias Freitas Ribeiro, Joyce Carvalho Pereira, and Maria Eduarda Rodrigues Costa Oliveira made history in the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) as the first five women sergeants specialized in aircraft maintenance.
The Noncomissioned Officer Aviation Training Course, one of the pathways to start a military career at EB, as a sergeant, also trains professionals to operate in all flight and maintenance missions.
The two-year course started in 1995. The five service members graduated with the 2019 class, which had 21 students. During the course, students study military history, physics in aviation, helicopter flight theory, aircraft systems, helicopter operations, military physical training, marksmanship with small and long range weapons, and also take training modules in aircraft mechanics and base maintenance mechanics.
Each year, the Army Aviation Training Center offers 48 courses and internships to more than 500 students to become Army Aviation (AvEx, in Portuguese) specialists.
“The training of the first five female service members, aircraft maintenance specialists, will enable them to join as flight mechanics the various crews that conduct operational missions with AvEx across the national territory,” said the Army Social Communication Center to Diálogo.
This first class puts an end to the distinction between men and women entering the course for which EB hopes to increase female participation. EB has 223,440 service members — 11,635 of them are women.