The Army's most elite aviation unit is proposing to allow women to fly the special operations helicopters used in missions like the one that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and known as the Night Stalkers, wants to give women a trial as pilots and crew chiefs, pending congressional approval. The aviation unit is the first among Army special operations units to move toward less restricted roles for women as a part of military-wide review of gender exclusions for many combat jobs.
Women have been able to fly attack helicopters since the 1990s, and many women serve in aviation brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. But previous policy barred them from special operations missions.