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Woman becomes first female Marine to pilot F-35B fighter jet

Marine Capt. Anneliese Satz, 29, called it "an exhilarating experience."
First Female F-35B Pilot
Capt. Anneliese Satz conducts pre-flight checks prior to a training flight at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort on March 11, 2019.Sgt. Ashley Phillips / Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

A woman who attributes her success to "showing up prepared and working diligently" has become the first female Marine to pilot a F-35B fighter jet.

U.S. Marine Capt. Anneliese Satz, 29, of Boise, Idaho, completed the F-35B Basic Course on June 27, the Marine Corp announced in a press release last week.

Satz trained for four years, including in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Meridian, Mississippi, before arriving at Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina, in July 2018. She took her first flight in the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the first-ever supersonic short takeoff/vertical landing stealth aircraft, in October 2018.

Capt. Anneliese Satz graduated the F-35B Lighting II Pilot Training Program in June.Sgt. Ashley Phillips / Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

The first flight was done solo — something that Satz said she was prepared for thanks to her training, which included practice time in simulators and written exams.

“The syllabus thoroughly prepares you for that first time you take off and for every flight after that, it’s an exhilarating experience,” she said in the press release.

The Marines said Satz, who has more than 300 flight hours, will now join a unit called the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the Green Knights in Iwakuni, Japan.

Before joining the Marines, Satz was a commercial pilot flying helicopters. She said her helicopter piloting and training schools helped her live up to her potential.

“At each of my training schools I did my best,” Satz said. “I truly believe that showing up prepared and working diligently are two major keys to success.”

The aircraft Satz will be flying is designed to take off and land from areas with small runway spaces, including flight decks, that operate close to front-line combat zones.

Satz is a graduate of Boise State University, according to NBC affiliate KTVB in Boise. Her milestone comes 24 years after the Marine Corps got its first female aviator, then-2nd Lt. Sarah Deal, reported