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Hanford Native Participates in First Ever All-Female Flyover To Honor Female Naval Aviation Pioneer

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Jan. 31, 2019) Naval aviators participating in a flyover to honor the life and legacy of retired Navy Capt. Rosemary Mariner pose for a photo in a hangar bay at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Jan. 31, 2019. The U.S. Navy is scheduled to conduct the first ever all-female flyover Feb. 2 in Maynardville, Tennessee as part of the funeral service for Mariner, a female Naval aviation pioneer. Back row, from left to right: Lt. Christy Talisse (Hanford Native), Lt. Emily Rixey, Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Hesling, Lt. Kelly Harris, Lt. Amanda Lee. Front row from left to right: Lt. Cmdr. Danielle Thiriot, Cmdr. Stacy Uttecht, Cmdr. Leslie Mintz, and Lt. Cmdr. Paige Blok. 

NORFOLK, Va. - Lt. Chrsity Talisse, a Hanford native, took part in Honoring the life and legacy of a female pioneer in Naval aviation.

Lt. Talisse participated in the first ever all-female flyover on Feb. 2 in Maynardville, Tennessee. Officially referred to as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the tribute was part of the funeral service for retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, who passed away on Jan. 24 following a long fight with cancer.

“I chose naval aviation because I grew up watching F/A-18 Super Hornets launch out of NAS Lemoore, near my hometown,” Talisse said. “Between the jet noise and excitement I felt watching them take off, I knew I wanted to fly jets. Going through flight training, I had some powerful mentors, particularly female aviators, who encouraged me to pursue this dream, and I feel incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to do so.”

Talisse attended the United States Naval Academy. After graduating in 2013 with a degree in Quantitative Economics, she reported to NAS Pensacola in August 2013 for flight training. After initial F/A-18 training at VFA-106, she reported September 2016 to the Fighting Checkmates of VFA-211 and deployed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Dynamic Force Employment.

After completing flight training in 1974, Mariner was designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold to became the Navy’s first female jet pilot, flying the A-4E/L “Skyhawk” and the A-7E “Corsair II”. She also was the first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron. During Operation Desert Storm, Mariner commanded Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34). In 1982, she reached yet another milestone by being among the first females to serve aboard a U.S. Navy warship, USS Lexington, and qualifying as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Mariner retired from the U.S. Navy in 1997 after obtaining the rank of Captain and logging seventeen carrier arrested landings, or “traps,” and completing over 3,500 flight hours in fifteen different aircraft.

The Missing Man Flyover is a special tribute honoring the service of aviators who have died serving their country. The maneuver features four aircraft flying above the funeral service in formation as one of the aircraft leaves the formation and climbs vertically into the heavens.

All of the aviators who participated in the flyover are from squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana flying F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets.”

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