Colonel (ret) Merryl Tengesdal, served a distinguished Air Force career as a U-2 “Dragon Lady” high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft command pilot, with over 3,400 flight hours and 330 combat hours. She was the first and only African American woman to fly the U-2. Col Tengesdal began her aviation career flying the SH-60B Seahawk Helicopter in the United States Navy. In 2004 she joined the Air Force’s U-2 program. She is one of only five women and three African Americans to be accepted into the Air Force’s U-2 program.