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US Navy’s First Black Female Tactical Air Pilot Earns Wings of Gold in Texas

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The U.S. Navy’s first Black female tactical air (TACAIR) pilot received her Wings of Gold July 31, marking a significant milestone for Naval Aviation.

Virginia native Lt. j.g. Madeline G. Swegle was designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold with 25 classmates during a small ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas.

Swegle is assigned to the “Redhawks” of Training Squadron (VT) 21 under Training Air Wing 2 at NAS Kingsville and completed her final undergraduate TACAIR training flight in a T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft July 7. VT-21 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Matthew Maher presented Wings of Gold to each of his graduates during the ceremony.

Amidst the Navy’s response to the global pandemic, instructors and students adjusted to COVID-19 spread mitigation measures including sterilizing surfaces, wearing masks, and social distancing when practical. Despite these challenges, this is the largest graduating class of strike aviators in almost a decade.

Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff oversees all undergraduate flight training from the command headquarters at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

“We are all incredibly proud of Lt. j.g Swegle and the entire class,” Westendorff said. “This is a wonderful personal achievement but also a testament to their dedication and drive to succeed in the tactical air training pipeline. I wish them all every success at the next level learning to fly our fleet aircraft.” [

A 2017 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Swegle reported to Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola, Florida, where she completed Initial Flight Screening and Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. She completed Primary flight training with the “Boomers” of VT-27 at NAS Corpus Christi, and after selecting the TACAIR, or Strike, pipeline, Swegle progressed to Intermediate and Advanced training with VT-21.

Swegle is part of a new generation of TACAIR pilots to qualify on state-of-the art Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) unique to aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78): the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). She completed carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, May 20.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet,” Swegle said. “It would’ve been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it’s encouraging to other people.”

Chief of Legislative Affairs Rear Adm. Sara Joyner, a career naval aviator, served as guest speaker for the ceremony via teleconference.

“I’m incredibly proud of Lt. j.g. Swegle and her classmates and am excited to welcome them all to the fleet,” Joyner said. “There’s more work to do to make sure that we recruit, train and retain a diverse force that represents the best and brightest of this nation. Everything in Naval Aviation requires teamwork, and you will be judged by your professionalism, demonstrated capability, and leadership.”

Swegle and her classmates will advance to graduate-level flight training at their respective fleet replacement squadrons. Specific platform selection for the TACAIR training pipeline (F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, or F-35C Lightning II) typically occurs shortly before the winging ceremony. Swegle will report to the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington to begin training as an EA-18G Growler pilot. VAQ-129 trains new naval aviators, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen in electronic warfare tactics, techniques, and procedures in preparation for their fleet assignments.

Swegle follows in the footsteps of Brenda E. Robinson, the Navy’s first African American female naval aviator. Robinson earned her Wings of Gold June 6, 1980 and was the 42nd woman to be designated a naval aviator.

“Lt. j.g. Swegle has proven to be a courageous trailblazer,” Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe “Bullet” Miller III said. “She has joined a select group of people who earned Wings of Gold and answered the call to defend our nation from the air. The diversity of that group—with differences in background, skill and thought—makes us a stronger fighting force.”

Chief of Naval Air Training trains the world’s finest combat quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.

For more news from Chief of Naval Air Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnatra/ or www.cnatra.navy.mil. Get more information about the Navy from U.S. Navy facebook or twitter.

(U.S. Navy video by Austin Rooney/released)

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Man Calls Police on Young Black Men Using a Gym in His Building in Minneapolis

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Minneapolis, MN — A group of young Black entrepreneurs from Minneapolis say that they were racially profiled when Tom Austin, who is white, confronted them for using a shared private gym in a building where they rent office space. In a video posted on Instagram, the man is seen calling the police on them because they refuse to provide proof that they are tenants.

The video was posted by Team Top Figure, a social media consulting firm with an office in the same building where the incident happened is located. The men, who are young entrepreneurs, said the encounter was an example of “racial profiling and age discrimination” that they have to deal with almost every day.

In the video, Austin, a venture capitalist who runs the F2 Intelligence Group, can be heard questioning the young men if they “belong” in the building. He said, “What office are you in? I’m calling 911 now.”

Austin even took a picture of them and said he would call the police on them even though they said they did not do anything wrong.

The men clearly explained to him they are renting office space in the same building where they’ve been growing their business for almost 2 years. That’s the reason they have access to the shared private gym.

They said in the caption that they wanted to share the encounter with the world because they “are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behavior on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.”

Meanwhile, Austin claimed he called the police because he he felt threatened. “One of the tenants brought 4 friends and I complained to them that this isn’t right and it’s unfair to the tenants who pay. They got in my face in a very threatening manner and I threatened back to building call security [sic],” he said in a statement, according to Bring Me The News.

He added that his action was not driven by race, saying “I would have done this regardless of race. So this is bulls—.”

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Messages of Hope & Unity

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URBAN ONE, INC. SPREADS MESSAGES OF HOPE AND UNITY AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC WITH NEW WE ARE ONE PSA CAMPAIGN ACROSS ALL ITS BRANDS

Campaign Features Celebrities, Reach Media Syndicated Radio Hosts, TV One Network Talent, and Urban One Executives and Staff Sharing Stories of Encouragement, Healing and Hope

Urban One, Inc. recently unveiled a new WE ARE ONE PSA campaign designed to provide hope and encouragement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign features a host of celebrities, Reach Media Syndicated Radio Personalities, talent from TV One and Radio One, Urban One executives and staff sharing uplifting expressions of unity and strength as the nation grapples with the unprecedented impact of the global health pandemic.

The campaign features Reach Media syndicated radio hosts Erica Campbell (Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell), Rickey Smiley (The Rickey Smiley Morning Show) and Willie Moore, Jr. (The Willie Moore Jr. Show). Additional participants include Reach Media radio personality Griff (Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell), singer Kenny Lattimore, actress and producer Terri J. Vaughn (Girlfriends’ Getaway, Mann and Wife), actor Tobias Truvillion (Loved To Death, Sistas), actor Tray Chaney (Saints & Sinners, The Wire), TV One and CLEO TV talent David Quinn (ATL Homicide)Vincent Velazquez (ATL Homicide), Chef Jernard Wells (New Soul Kitchen), Chef JJ Johnson(Just Eats with Chef JJ), TV One and Radio One talent, as well as Urban One executives and staff. Urban One invites its content consumers to join the conversation and share their video messages using #WeAreOne.  

“During challenging times, we must seek to elevate the hearts, minds and spirits of our community,” said Cathy Hughes, Chairwoman, Urban One, Inc. “The We Are Onecampaign allows our Urban One family to spread faith, hope and love and unite with others as we face the challenge presented by this global health crisis.” 

The WE ARE ONE PSAs will run across all of the Urban One brands including TV One, CLEO TV, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital, and One Solution. Follow @Urban1Media on Facebook and Twitter to join the campaign.

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