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SPECIAL REPORT: First female Marine F-35B pilot soars over Yuma

Captain Anneliese Satz started out flying commercial helicopters but now she flies one of the most powerful fighter jets on earth - FOX 9's Adam Klepp reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - If you live in Yuma, you’ve likely seen or heard the F-35B flying overhead.

It's an elite Marine Corps fighter jet and only the Marine’s most elite pilots can fly it.

One of them is Captain Anneliese Satz, who is among elite company in her own right.

“First female to fly this variance, so very niche,” Satz said.

Captain Satz and the F-35B Lightning

The F-35B Lightning is made by Lockheed Martin. They say this jet can reach speeds up to 1,200 MPH, making pilots experience up to 7 g-forces.

But it also can perform short takeoffs and near vertical landings.

Captain Satz says she was flying helicopters for commercial use as early as 18 years old, but jets like this one is what made her want to become a Marine.

"I really wanted to fly something that I knew wouldn’t be available on the civilian side which is tac-air,” Satz explained.

At WTI, better known as Weapons and Tactical Instruction, military members of different branches of the United States armed forces, as well as soldiers from international allies come to MCAS Yuma.

Te training received here is less about the individual soldier, but how to get everyone, from the ground to the air, to work in unison.

"Being able to come here and work together in the same room, the same briefing spaces, has been a really rewarding experience,” Satz continued.

With that spirit of teamwork and camaraderie in mind Captain Satz says it's far from an individual achievement to be where she is today.

"Having a capable team around you of people, that you can benefit from their strengths, and they can fill in your weaknesses, is going to make you a successful human being, and in this case pilot,” Satz said.

Now that WTI has wrapped up here in Yuma, Captain Satz is back in Japan.

She says she is planning on teaching to her squadron all of the lessons that she learned while in Yuma.

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Adam Klepp

Adam Klepp is excited to start his first job in the broadcast news industry as the FOX9 at 9 anchor and as a reporter at 5 and 6 on News 11.

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