Spreading Her Wings Published March 14, 2022 By Airman 1st Class Adam Olson 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- 1st Lt. Meaghan Dowd, a weapon systems officer with the 34th Bomb Squadron, is a proud member of the Ellsworth B-1 Lancer flight team. Dowd was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in August of 2021, and felt welcomed and accepted by her wingmen since the very beginning of her time in the Air Force. At the age of 23, Dowd commissioned into the Air Force in Massachusetts with her eyes set on a career in intelligence. Unfortunately, news reached her that the wait for an opening in her chosen career was lengthier than she would prefer. Dowd, eager to begin her Air Force career, decided to aim higher to accelerate her start…literally. Dowd began her Officer Training School in Pensacola, Florida, where she trained with many other officers-to-be in weapons systems operation. She noticed the majority of her classmates were male, which makes sense considering that only 21% of Airmen are female according to Air Force Personnel Center. “I never really saw it as a major divide as being a woman, it’s more just everyone working towards the same goal,” Dowd said. At Ellsworth, Dowd was glad to find this trend would continue into her working Air Force career. “It was a very welcoming environment,” Dowd said. Recently, Dowd completed a 22.5 hour mission starting and ending inside the continental U.S., known as a C2C mission. Before embarking on this mission, Dowd’s longest flight was seven hours. While out flying, Dowd and her all-male crew worked with the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. This was the first time that Dowd had the opportunity to work with foreign military and conduct low-altitude operations. “Flying over the Arctic circle was never something I thought I’d be doing,” Dowd said. Though her career is still young, Dowd has been able to learn a great deal from her peers and takes advice and past experience from those around her to better herself. ”If you really want it, you’re going to keep going after it,” Dowd said. 1st Lt. Meaghan Dowd is an officer and wingman who loves what she does. She is an equal and integral part of her air crew, and has never felt otherwise. An air crew is not divided by things like rank, age or gender, but instead unified by a shared mission and the knowledge that anyone on board can save the day. In her short time in service, she has experienced things only a select few have, and she has only just begun.