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Army appoints first female helicopter pilot instructor

South Korea's Army on Sunday said it appointed its first-ever female pilot instructor who will teach others to fly the country's military helicopters.

It said warrant officer Jung Eun-hee has been tapped as an instructor after meeting the most rigorous requirements and satisfying all qualifications. The military handpicks only a select few of its chopper pilots to train others from veterans with more than 200 flying hours.

Her role will place her in a position to educate, train and evaluate future pilots. 

Army warrant officer Jung Eun-hee poses in front of a UH-60 helicopter in this photo provided by South Korea's military. (Yonhap)
Army warrant officer Jung Eun-hee poses in front of a UH-60 helicopter in this photo provided by South Korea's military. (Yonhap)
"I did my best to fulfill my duties as a soldier regardless of my gender," she said after the appointment was announced. The 37-year-old Jung added that she plans to fulfill her new role faithfully and contribute to the readiness of future Army helicopter pilots to tackle any challenges.

Jung first enlisted in the Army in 1999 as a staff sergeant and was assigned to air traffic control, but she applied for the highly competitive pilot training program and was accepted in 2004. She went on to win her pilot's wings two years later.

Since then she has been flying the UH-60 Black Hawk assault chopper for the 2nd aerial brigade under the Army's Aviation Operations Command and chalked up some 1,500 flying hours in missions ranging from aerial assault to combat support. The Army said she has shown an exceptional grasp of various tactical missions as well as medical evacuation and fire fighting flights. (Yonhap)

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