Guard officials for The Georgia Air National Guard announced this week that they will be deploying its first black female pilot, 1st Lt. Andrea Lewis.
Lewis is an E-8C Joint STARS copilot with the 116th Air Control Wing. Her profession uses side-looking radar to locate and track moving objects behind enemy lines and is the Air Force’s only operational airborne platform that can maintain real-time surveillance over a corps-sized area of the battlefield.
Lewis comes from an aviation family, as her father was a 14-year veteran pilot in the Marine Corps, who then continued his pilot career with American Airlines for another 22 years. Her mother is a career flight attendant with Delta Airlines based out of Atlanta. In a statement, Lewis said, “You could say that aviation and serving others is in my DNA. It is something I always knew I wanted to be a part of.”
She served as an Air Force flight attendant until her father passed, at which point she decided to follow in his piloting footsteps. “After my father passed away, I knew it was time for me to take the steps needed to become a pilot and realize my dreams. I know it would have made my father proud.”
According to The Air Force Times, Lewis attended Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in 2015, before beginning Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
She completed pilot training in April 2017, thus officially becoming the first black female pilot in the Georgia ANG.
Lewis said, “I want to tell people to always keep all options on the table regardless of how unobtainable they may seem,” said Lewis. “Never ever let fear or doubt get in the way of accomplishing your mission.”
Congratulations to 1st Lt. Andrea Lewis! Thank you for your service and your #BlackGirlMagic ✨