The Sky’s the Limit
Fighter pilot Kareen Mamo had her eyes on the sky at a young age.
Her early years as an air cadet were the first step, and she now describes them as “the best thing I’d ever done. It gave me the confidence and leadership skills I’d need later on as a pilot.”
Today, Kareen flies a CF-18 fighter jet part-time with the reserves and part-time with Top Aces, the exclusive supplier of combat airborne training services to the Canadian Armed Forces. As Top Aces’ first female pilot of the Alpha Jet — a state-of-the-art fighter jet capable of flying at high altitudes at near supersonic speeds — Kareen’s job in the air is to provide combat support to the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force.
The Armed Forces have evolved into an organization where, especially in Canada, it’s just not a big deal to be a woman. It’s not a setback. If you work hard and you have a passion, you can succeed.
“We’re what we call a ‘force multiplier,’” Kareen says. “Especially to the Air Force. We’re providing combat air support to the training units in the military, so they can do more of what they do best.”
“Joining the Armed Forces offered me a great platform to pursue my passion of flying,” Kareen says. “I love the dynamic nature of it, and the relationships between my fellow pilots is really special.”
While up in the air, Kareen knows she has a job to do – and she does it well. She hopes other women interested in pursuing the same career path don’t let their gender discourage them.
“The Armed Forces have evolved into an organization where, especially in Canada, it’s just not a big deal to be a woman. It’s not a setback,” Kareen says. “If you work hard and you have a passion, you can succeed.”
Kareen now splits her time between flying and her growing family. With two children and a husband who also flew the CF-18, their lives aren’t slowing down.
She says she’s proud to be contributing to the growth and training of the next generation of Canadian fighter pilots.
“I love to take a young person up in the air and teach them what I know and help them be a better and stronger pilot.”