U.S. Air Force Capt. Emily Thompson, 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot, launches an F-35A Lightning II while Airman 1st Class Ashlin Randolph, a 380th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, gives the signal to proceed recently on the Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, flightline. Thompson is the first female to fly an F-35A Lightning II into combat. She was also launched by an all-female maintenance crew. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kat Justen)
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