Maternity flight suits – an unnecessary expense

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

female airman (USAF)A conservative military watchdog is questioning why the Air Force is wasting money on special maternity flight uniforms for female pilots and aircrews.

In September 2019, MSN reports that the Air Force updated its policy to reduce restrictions on pregnant aviators who perform flight duties and have uncomplicated pregnancies, allowing many women the choice to keep performing flight duties during their pregnancy, maintain currency, and prevent postpartum re-qualification training.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Team, citing its priorities of comfort and safety, has also been working to develop special maternity flight suits for female aircrew, despite concerns about the substantial health risks aviation poses to the preborn children of pregnant pilots on flight status.

"Aviation is very hazardous to women who have the potential to become pregnant because of several things: High decibel noise, excessive vibration, especially in helicopters, and toxic fumes, jet fuel," notes Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR). "All of these things are hazardous to a child that is unborn, and that's why many female pilots decide not to stay on flight status."

Donnelly

"So if you create maternity flight suits when you're not even supposed to have women exposed to hazards like that, what are we wasting money on for this," she continues.

Donnelly thinks that is a legitimate question for all parties involved.

"If you have pilots taking a full year off before birth and another whole year afterwards, that pilot, even if she's the best pilot in the world, she's not there when she's needed in the case of a mobilization," the CMR president points out. "So it's a legitimate question. It's about policy. It's not about women in the military."

Donnelly adds that this effort will not quantifiably improve operational combat readiness and lethality, and it will be costly to taxpayers.

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