Air Force sends a fetus airborne in a supersonic jet for the first time

U.S. Air Force Maj. Lauren Olme, 77th Weapons Squadron assistant director of operations, and her husband, Maj. Mark Olme, 7th Operations Support Squadron bomb wing weapons officer, pose for a photo at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo by Senior Airman Leon Redfern)

The US Air Force has had a history of milestones when it comes to manned flight- and now, “first fetus to break the sound barrier” is among those historic firsts.

While too young to pilot the aircraft (or do anything else on its own, for that matter), the unborn child pushed surly bonds of earth recently as it rode inside its mother, a US Air Force pilot behind the controls of a B-1 Bomber.

Major Lauren Olme, who is pregnant with the aforementioned child, is a “Bone Driver” based out of Texas. Her husband, who also flies the venerable B-1, is no stranger to getting in and out quickly with the swing-wing supersonic bomber, designed during the Cold War for low-level penetration missions.

According to CBS News, when she and Major Mark Olme had an opportunity to fly together in a B-1 with their unborn child, it was a no-brainer for them.

“I looked over and I saw Mark in the other aircraft and knew that flying with my husband and carrying, hopefully, the next generation bomber pilot while flying supersonic was, it was quite the memory,” Lauren Olme said of the flight.

The trio’s flight was uneventful from a safety standpoint, but no doubt was a moment in time that the future mother and father will never forget.

“Now the Air Force, who has spent a lot of time and resources to develop these professional pilots who are female, you know, they can continue to contribute in the ways they want to,” Mark Olme told CBS.

While it is unknown why the US Air Force decided to send an unborn baby streaking through the sky in an ejection seat-equipped aircraft, the occasion appears to mirror many “firsts” for women that the Department of Defense has felt pertinent to stage and publicize.

“[Lauren] can continue flying after recently getting approved under the Air Force’s new guidance which allows female aircrew members to voluntarily request to fly during pregnancy,” the Air Force said. “No waiver is required to fly in the second trimester with an uncomplicated pregnancy in a non-ejection seat aircraft if all flight safety criteria are met.”

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