Skies of success: Celebrating women in aviation

In honor of 2024 Women’s History Month, Army Spc. Aubrey Hansen is a testament to women’s strength, resilience, and ambition in the armed forces. Her inspiring journey reflects a narrative of forging new paths. She started as an accomplished expert in dance arts and has become one of the Minnesota National Guard’s only female assault crew chiefs.

Hansen’s story begins with a unique shift from the world of dance to the demanding role of a helicopter repairer and crew chief with the Saint Paul-based Alpha Company 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment. At 19, driven by a desire for change and adventure, she embarked on a journey that brought her to aviation in the Minnesota National Guard.

“I chose aviation not just because it seemed cool and exciting but also because it is known for being a tight-knit community that provides support and camaraderie among its members,” said Hansen.

Her achievements within the National Guard extend beyond the uniform, exemplified in her multifaceted role as a traditional Guard member, full-time aviation mechanic at the St. Cloud Aviation Support Facility, and full-time student. In addition to her already impressive journey, Hansen is set to receive her Bachelor of Science with an interdisciplinary focus in aviation science, health science, and Spanish studies in May. Remarkably, she will be only 19 years old when she accomplishes this academic milestone.

Her story goes beyond the challenges of military training, delving into her experiences as a young woman in a field often thought of as being dominated by men. Remaining steadfast, Hansen focuses on her goals and strives to inspire others to pursue their dreams.

By Army Capt. Kate Sulzle
34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade
Minnesota National Guard