Women’s heritage exposition inspires, educates 

  • Published
  • By Solomon Navarro
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

In observance of Women’s History Month, the 60th Air Mobility Wing hosted its first Women’s heritage exposition and professional development event March 29, 2024.  

With a theme of “Celebrating HER Story,” the exposition and live panel highlighted the contributions of women on the installation and to the U.S. Air Force as a whole.     

Held in Hangar 46, the exposition portion of the event showcased static displays of the C-5M Super Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, and the KC-46A Pegasus. 

U.S. Air Force Capt. Elyse Oliver, 22nd Airlift Squadron C-5 pilot and project officer for the event, expressed the significance of recognizing the contribution of women in the armed forces. 

 “We are hosting the expo to recognize the history of women that paved the road for us to serve today, appreciate current contributions and explore future endeavors of women in the military,” said Oliver. “This includes not only active-duty women but also civilians on base and women in the community.”     

The professional development live panel portion of the event featured several installation leaders.  

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Erin Hoover, 60th Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron first sergeant, spoke on several topics important to her and recounted the impact of a personal mentor.  

 “She was kind, incredible at her job, accepting, had high standards for me and gave me grace when I failed,” said Hoover. “She set the tone for how I treated every woman airman that came to the unit after me, and it changed the entire dynamic of our small unit.”  

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Imani Durango, 22nd Airlift Squadron C-5 loadmaster and the primary coordinator of the event, believes this event wasn’t only for women.  

“This event is an essential way to recognize the importance of Women’s History Month and the impact that women have in today’s Air Force,” said Durango. “It is also critical to include men in these conversations so that they have a deeper understanding of what women experience when serving within the military.”  

According to the 2021 Demographics Profile of the Military Community, the percentage of women serving on active duty and in the reserve component continues to grow with more women serving in the Air Force than in any other military branch of service.    

“We should celebrate ‘her’ story because representation matters, aspiring to be like someone you connect with matters,” said Hoover. “Seeing yourself in someone else, doing a job you didn’t think you could do, matters.”