Naomi Ngalle grew up in Northern Virginia, and Sunday night the world saw her as one of the female aviators who flew over the Super Bowl LVII.
U.S. Navy Lt. Naomi Ngalle of Springfield told ABC7 that when she received the phone call asking her to be part of the all-female team making history at Super Bowl, she was ecstatic and jumped at the chance.
“There is no higher honor or opportunity to represent, and shout out to the little girls at home that ‘Yeah, you can do this, too,'” she said.
She said it took many months of preparation and a lot of studying of Google maps for the four-aircraft formation to pull off the Super Bowl pregame flyover.
The flyover commemorated 50 years of women pilots in the Navy.
“In 1973 the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and one year later six of those eight women, titled ‘The First Six,’ earned their Wings of Gold. Since then, women have served, operated and led at every level of Naval Aviation,” said a Navy news release announcing the flyover.
Ngalle, who graduated from West Springfield High School, is a naval flight officer and weapons systems officer with 565 flight hours. She is a member of Strike Fighter Squadron Two and flew the F/A-18F Super Hornet in the show.
She said roughly 12 percent of aviators are female.
Her advice to other young women considering careers as aviators: “We belong in this space.”
Ngalle, who is Black and Hispanic, said young women entering the military need to realize that they are judged and critiqued the same way as everyone else.
“I think, especially in this business, having a thick skin is imperative,” Ngalle told ABC7. “We train every day to be the best aviators that we can be, because we need to be prepared at any moment to defend the nation. Get a thick skin. It’s not people out to get you. It’s just we’re trying to make you better every day.”
And the football team Ngalle was rooting for pulled off a win. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35.
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