VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — You may have seen familiar faces on the “Today” show this morning.
The women from Naval Air Station Oceana who performed the first ever all-female flyover made an appearance on the show Friday morning.
The February flyover was held in honor of Capt. Rosemary Mariner, who passed away in January from cancer.
Mariner became the Navy’s first female jet pilot in the 1970s, and was the first female military aviator to command an operational air squadron.
Nine pilots from Oceana conducted a “Missing Man Flyover” during a funeral service for Mariner in Maynardville, Tennessee.
The pilots were featured as a part of the “Today” show’s International Women’s Day celebration. Some of the pilots who conducted the flight appeared on the Plaza — including Cmdr. Stacy Uttecht, the Commanding Officer of the VFA-32 “Fighting Swordsmen.”
10 On Your Side’s Laura Caso recently profiled Uttecht’s journey to becoming the leader of a squadron of F/A-18 pilots.
Appearing on “Today” Friday morning, Uttecht spoke about what the February flyover meant.
“I think really whenever the actual ‘missing man’ portion of the flyover happened, when the third jet pulled up into the sky, it really hit us,” Uttecht said.
Uttecht is the second woman to be the commanding officer of an F/A-18 squadron in United States history.
“I am actually the only female officer in the current squadron, but it doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t play a role in it, the jet doesn’t care if you are male or female, and the enemy doesn’t care if you are male or female,” Uttecht told 10 On Your Side.