MANILA — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday, the last day of Women's Month, celebrated a historic first: a female jet fighter pilot in its ranks.
1st Lieutenant Jul Laiza Mae Camposano-Beran was checked out as the first female pilot and wingman ready to operate an AS-211 fighter jet, the PAF said.
"Hindi lang siya basta alam niya na lumipad ng eroplano. She knows how to fight in air-to-air, in air-to-ground, air-to-surface in the AS-211. That is something that most of the female pilots before na dumaan sa AS-211 na hindi sila nakaranas," PAF spokesperson Col. Maynard Mariano told reporters.
(She doesn't only know how to fly a plane... That is something that wasn't experienced by most of the female pilots who trained before in operating an AS-211.)
Mariano said the AS-211 is "actually a trainer jet" but was converted by the PAF into a light combat aircraft.
Camposano-Beran comes from the PAF’s 5th Fighter Wing stationed at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga.
A native of Tulunan, Cotabato, Camposano-Beran graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 2015, belonging to the SINAGLAHI class of that year.
She became the fifth woman from PMA to receive the Athletic Saber Award from among 170 graduates of her class. The award is given in recognition of a cadet’s athletic abilities.
Camposano-Beran graduated from the Philippine Air Force Flying School in 2017 after completing her military pilot training.
Mariano said two other female pilots are still undergoing training on flying and handling an AS-211 fighter jet. The PAF also has other female pilots capable of flying the AW-109 helicopter, the MG-520 attack helicopter, and the turboprop Super Tucano bomber planes.
Camposano-Beran was the first to check out after undergoing “fighter fundamentals and combat crew training,” Mariano said.
Her feat comes as the nation celebrates Women’s Month this March.
“The Philippine Air Force joins in recognizing the significant role of women in our organization and society,” the PAF said.