Thursday, September 17, 2015

USAF general: Women in combat standards test can keep up

USAF general: Women in combat standards test can keep up: The results of this summer's test to set gender-neutral standards for combat jobs — which could pave the way to opening up the last six male-only Air Force combat jobs to women — aren't in yet.

But Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of military force management policy, said Tuesday that many of the roughly 70 women who took part in the test at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas are certain that they kept up with the men in the test and — if they wanted it bad enough — could hack it as Air Force special operators.

"These 70 women weren't existing special operations airmen ... so these were volunteers from a variety of other career fields," some of whom came from desk jobs, Kelly said at a news conference at the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference. "And they would say, in lots of cases, they were able to compete with and stay up with the men. There were some tasks where they would say that if they had known that was the task and they had the ability to train to that, over time they were pretty comfortable they would be able to do that."

When asked if most of the female test subjects had that confidence, Kelly said, "Absolutely."