Women have been integrated into the British Armed Forces since the early 1990s; however, they remain excluded from primarily combat units in the Army, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force Regiment. As of 1 April 2014, there are approximately 15,840 women serving in the Armed Forces, representing 9.9% of all service personnel. The first female military pilot was Flight Lieutenant Julie Ann Gibson while Flight Lieutenants Jo Salter and Kirsty Moore were the first fast-jet pilots, the former flying a Tornado GR1 on missions patrolling the then Northern Iraqi No-Fly Zone.
Flight Lieutenant Juliette Fleming and Squadron Leader Nikki Thomas recently were the first Tornado GR4 crew.
In Afghanistan she was supporting
troops on the ground, searching for
Improvised Explosive Devices,
providing armed over watch of patrols
taking place or being on ground alert, on
call for when troops are in contact with
This involved flying over 30 missions
– over 100 hours in the air.
Juliette Fleming (now Thurston) is pictured here when she took on the role as the RAF's Hawk solo display pilot in 2011.