New AF pregnant aircrew coverage means new achievement for B-1 pilot, others > Tinker Air Power Base > Article Show

As Maj. Lauren Olme, 77th Weapons Squadron assistant director of operations, fires up the engines of a B-1 Lancer on Dyess Air Power Base, she resides out her lifelong dream of being a pilot. Along with that dream, she achieved a brand new feat that may affect future generations of servicewomen: Flying whereas pregnant.

Lauren garnered her ardour for flying by watching her father fly as a pilot within the Air Power.

“My dad flew (F-15C Eagles), so I immediately fell in love with flying and the Air Power tradition at a reasonably younger age,” Lauren mentioned. “There was by no means actually a time that I formally determined I wished to affix the Air Power, it was simply one thing I all the time wished to do.”

Lauren met her husband, Maj. Mark Olme, seventh Operations Help Squadron bomb wing weapons officer, whereas attending the Air Power Academy. They turned quick mates and began relationship in November of 2011, finally getting married seven months after commencement.

“We had been navigating being newlyweds whereas each going via Undergraduate Pilot Coaching,” Lauren mentioned. “Each of our flight commanders had been B-1 pilots, and the bomber neighborhood mixed lots of features that we each wished out of flying. We had been extraordinarily lucky to each get assigned the B-1 out of UPT and haven’t regretted it for a second!”

After finishing coaching at Dyess AFB, the Olmes moved to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, and over the following few years journeyed to a number of assignments collectively. They deployed on a Bomber Process Power to Andersen AFB, Guam, a number of at Nellis AFB, Nevada, and a fight deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. In 2020 they accomplished the Air Power’s model of “High Gun,” the U.S. Air Power Weapons Faculty course.

“Lauren and I’ve been very blessed with the chance to be stationed collectively, deploy collectively and go on a number of month-long workouts collectively,” Mark mentioned. “The aviation world is traumatic sufficient, then add competing together with your spouse, who is best than you, for all the things! Nonetheless, we now have received to share some particular moments collectively due to it.”

In August 2022, Lauren and Mark came upon they’d be including yet one more member to their household.

“I used to be truthfully shocked once we came upon I used to be pregnant,” Lauren mentioned. “We had been attempting for a couple of months and I considerably anticipated one other damaging check. I examined proper earlier than work and after discovering out it was constructive, holding that secret from Mark all day was torture, however I wished to inform him in particular person.”

Regardless of being pregnant, Lauren nonetheless longed to fly. Final yr, a new Air Power coverage said aircrew members might voluntarily request to fly throughout being pregnant and no waiver is required to fly within the second trimester with an uncomplicated being pregnant in a non-ejection seat plane if all flight security standards are met. All pregnant aircrew members are additionally licensed to use for a waiver no matter trimester, plane or flight profile.

“I can’t overexpress how wonderful it’s that pregnant ladies now have the chance to fly in all sorts of plane,” Lauren mentioned. “It’s a really private choice that Mark and I made collectively as a result of there are dangers concerned in flying the B-1 whereas pregnant however after conferring with Air Power and civilian medical medical doctors, we felt snug with me flying for a couple of weeks.”

Aircrew members who want to fly whereas pregnant are knowledgeable of the dangers to themselves, the fetus, the security of flight, and mission, in keeping with all medical situations. The approval is granted via joint consent of the aviator, obstetrics supplier, flight surgeon, and commander.

 “This coverage is a big profit to the Air Power. They’ve intentionally made a change that gives feminine aircrew members the identical alternatives as male aircrew members,” mentioned Lt. Col. Charles Armstrong, 77th WPS commander. “This enables feminine aviators to proceed increase their {qualifications} and flight hours to progress of their profession subject via being pregnant. It was primarily based on years of research and analysis from aircrew physiologists each within the Air Power and outdoors businesses to make the willpower that it’s secure and acceptable for girls to fly an extended interval than they’ve finished up to now.”

This enables the member to weigh out the professionals and cons, in the end deciding for themselves whether or not they need to fly or not.

“Considered one of my greatest reservations about getting pregnant whereas being on a flying project was the time away from the cockpit, so having the chance to proceed to fly and never take as a lot outing of the jet is a good factor,” Lauren mentioned. “The coverage permits for aviators to fly as much as 28 weeks, however for varied causes my medical staff determined it greatest to cease across the 22-week level, so that’s all of the flying I’ll do with our child.”

Child Olme, who is predicted to reach in April 2023, has change into one of many first infants within the Protection Division to clock 9.2 hours in a supersonic plane.

“Lauren is a tremendous girl, deploying a unit, creating a schedule, creating train situations, being an incredible pilot and chief, all whereas constructing a human,” mentioned Mark. “I’m not positive how she does all of it, and with poise and style. I’m extraordinarily happy with her, and I can not wait to inform our youngster they received to fly supersonic in formation with mommy and daddy.”

Lauren expressed her pleasure at being one of many first ladies to expertise this new coverage and shared her admiration for the aviation trailblazers earlier than her.

“I’m honored to be one of many first to fly in an ejection seat plane whereas pregnant,” Lauren mentioned. “I wouldn’t have been capable of do it if ladies within the Air Power didn’t advocate for a lot of these coverage adjustments, so to dwell out a coverage change that different ladies labored so laborious to enact is actually an honor.”