Air Force pilot Maj. Lauren Olme married her husband, Maj. Mark Olme, seven months after graduating from the Air Force Academy. The duo deployed across the world together, flying overseas missions in B-1 Lancers before returning stateside to complete the elite U.S. Air Force Weapons School course.

Now, a new, much smaller member of the family is getting in on the action.

This past August, Olme discovered she was pregnant. But when a new Air Force policy was announced in April that would allow airmen to voluntarily fly during a pregnancy, Olme consulted with doctors and her command and was given the green light to continue flying.

“I can’t overexpress how amazing it is that pregnant women now have the opportunity to fly in all types of aircraft,” Olme said in a statement from Tinker Air Force Base. “It’s a very personal decision that Mark and I made together because there are risks involved in flying the B-1 while pregnant, but after conferring with Air Force and civilian medical doctors, we felt comfortable with me flying for a few weeks.”

To resume flying duties after becoming pregnant, service members must submit an Aircrew Voluntary Acceptance of Risk form, which allows for airmen to make informed decisions. A waiver is then reviewed by their flight surgeon, obstetrical care provider, and squadron commander.

“This policy is a huge benefit to the Air Force,” Lt. Col. Charles Armstrong, 77th WPS commander, said in the release. “They have deliberately made a change that provides female aircrew members the same opportunities as male aircrew members. This allows female aviators to continue building up their qualifications and flight hours to progress in their career field through pregnancy.”

Baby Olme, meanwhile, is expected to arrive in April, the release said. Whether a career in aviation awaits is unknown. Regardless, the child now holds the distinction of being one of the first babies in Defense Department history to log more than nine hours in a supersonic aircraft.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a reporter at Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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