McSally: Lifting the ban on women in combat roles is "long overdue"
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and former candidate for Congress, said the Pentagon's decision to lift its ban on women soldiers taking on combat roles is "long overdue."
"This is just great news that we can pick the best man for the job, even if she's a woman," McSally told Nine on Your Side.
Not all of McSally's supporters agree with her position on this issue.
"Intense physical combat, I think men are physically more equipped for," said John Winchester, who supported McSally in her bid for the District 2 Congressional seat.
Winchester's wife agrees.
"I think that women can be useful but I don't that think there's a need for them to have to put their lives on the line," Fernanda Quintanilla said.
According to McSally, women have already put their lives on the line. The ban that has been in place for 19 years is out of touch with the way warfare has changed, she said.
"Its still based on there being a front line and woman are not allowed to be in ground combat units that are going be in direct contact ," McSally said.
Women have served in ground combat roles during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, McSally said.
Winchester told Nine on Your Side another reason he is against lifting the ban is because physical attraction between men and women could get in the way.
"It creates a temptation," he said. "I have a lot of friends who are military and they talk about the conflict in personalities between men and women on bases. You put that in a combat situation and I'm not really sure that's a good idea."
"They use the same arguments against why women shouldn't be fighter pilots or women shouldn't be on submarines," McSally said. "And women and men have shown that they can be professional and focused on the mission and the task."