Women play increasingly larger role in Ohio Air National Guard

Cameron Dodge, 24, is in her fifth year as a member of the Ohio Air National Guard. Her office is a C-130 cargo plane. (WBNS)

When it comes to the make-up of the Ohio Air National Guard, it remains a male-dominated organization.

About 80% of those who serve are men and about 18% are women. While that may seem low, the Ohio Air National Guard says it's better than the national average, which is about 16%.

The Ohio Air National Guard is always looking for more women to join its ranks. It's not easy because of the qualifications but those who do serve say it's the best decision they ever made.

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Cameron Dodge, 24, is in her fifth year as a member of the Ohio Air National Guard. Her office is a C-130 cargo plane.

The C-130 can travel nearly 400 miles per hour and can fly about 10 to 11 hours in the air. It can carry a 42,000-pound payload.

"So, I'm in charge of transporting cargo and people. I watched both my parents serve in the Guard and I wanted to go college, and Guard buys that for you so you can serve and go to college at the same time," she says.

The Guard pays 100% of the cost of college if you qualify.

While Cameron spends most of her day in the air, Sarah Queer spends her days underneath giant aircraft as a maintenance supervisor.

"I am one of only three female supervisors in all maintenance groups here at the 179th," she says.

She joined the Ohio Air National Guard in 2004 and says she's never looked back.

It's a job, she says, she's dreamed about since she was a kid.

"I've always had a knack to getting into things. I was a sports girl. I like to work on anything I could rebuild," she says.

Now, she's helping repair $30 million aircraft.

She says at first, it wasn't easy being a woman in a male-dominated field until she proved she could do the job just like the guys.

"They're a little tough. They want to make sure you can do the job you set out to do and they'll challenge you in it," she says.

The Ohio National Guard is older than the state of Ohio, and most of its 16,000 guardsmen work other jobs, which is what makes this fighting force so unique.

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