"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force. She will be an outstanding Secretary!"
Barrett, 68, of Paradise Valley, is a certified jet pilot and is the first civilian female pilot to land an F-18 fighter on an aircraft carrier. She is close to Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a retired Air Force combat pilot.
According to media reports, Barrett would be responsible for the 685,000 active-duty Guard, Reserve and civilian forces. Women were not allowed to fly fighters or bombers in the late 1980s, when Barrett, who had her pilot’s license, served as a civilian advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the Azcentral media outlet reported. A US Navy admiral reportedly asked her if she would try to land an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier.