The Lebanese Army confirmed that Cadet Officer Jana Sader has achieved a momentous milestone by becoming the nation’s first-ever fighter jet pilot. Sader finished her training course at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, USA, following nearly two years of demanding curriculum and flight training.
As a graduate of the Lebanese Army’s training program, Sader is now ready to embark on a new mission. The A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft, a sophisticated and formidable aircraft utilized for a variety of missions such as close air support, aerial reconnaissance, and armed surveillance, will be her maiden deployment.
تخرجت التلميذ الضابط جنى صادر من #الجيش_اللبناني من Laughlin Air Force Base في ولاية Texas الأميركية بعدما تابعت دورة لمدة سنتين تقريباً لتكون أول امرأة في الجيش تبدأ مسيرتها المهنية بطائرة القتال الهجومية سوبر توكانو A-29.#LebaneseArmy pic.twitter.com/MXCTrvvRgo
— الجيش اللبناني (@LebarmyOfficial) February 5, 2023
The Lebanese Army said in a Tweet, which also noted and acknowledged her accomplishment that the A-29 Super Tucano has shown to be a dependable and successful aircraft for military operations, and Sader is eager to begin her career with the aircraft.
In her response, Twitter user Leila Hatoum praised Sader for her accomplishment and recalled learning in the 1990s that women aren’t permitted to join the air force: “In the 90s, we went to the Universities and Careers Exhibition. I went to the military stand where an officer and 2 assistants were. I asked him what is needed to become a pilot officer in the Air Force and, without an explanation, told her girls aren’t allowed to serve in the airforce.”
Many others, including the Lebanese army, used Twitter to congratulate the cadet on the achievement, proving that it was cause for celebration. Sader’s new position ushers in a new era for women in Lebanon, where the integration of women into the military has been a long process. According to the Lebanese Army’s website women joined the Lebanese Army Forces for the first time “when the chance emerged in the late 80s,” during Lebanon’s 1975–1990 Civil War, when the army required fresh recruits for its different formations.
In 1991, the government passed a new resolution mandating that 10% of the troops working for the Defense Ministry be female. Female recruits must undergo the same training as male recruits, and they are not just given administrative duties, but also jobs in combat units.
Sader’s accomplishment as a fighter pilot follows that of Captain Rola Hoteit, a pilot for Middle East Airlines, the national airline of Lebanon (MEA). When Hoteit took command of her maiden solo flight to the Jordanian capital of Amman in 2010, she made history as MEA’s first female pilot.
Six of the 190 pilots employed by MEA are now female, and in 2020 Hoteit flew with an all-female crew.
Source: Cosmo Politian