MILITARY

2 of 5 Air National Guard female fighter pilots based in SD

  • In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne, left, and Capt. Shanon Davis, both with the South Dakota Air National Guard, chat alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. The two are part of a select group of five women from around the country who can pilot F-16 fighter jets. Vanderostyne and Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)

    In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne, left, and Capt. Shanon Davis, both with the South Dakota Air National Guard, chat alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. The two are part of a select group of five women from around the country who can pilot F-16 fighter jets. Vanderostyne and Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne with the South Dakota Air National Guard conducts a pre-flight check of the cockpit of an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S. D. Vanderostyne and Capt. Shanon Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)

    In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne with the South Dakota Air National Guard conducts a pre-flight check of the cockpit of an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S. D. Vanderostyne and Capt. Shanon Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne, left, and Capt. Shanon Davis, both with the South Dakota Air National Guard, chat alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. The two are part of a select group of five women from around the country who can pilot F-16 fighter jets. Vanderostyne and Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)

    In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, photo, Capt. Valerie Vanderostyne, left, and Capt. Shanon Davis, both with the South Dakota Air National Guard, chat alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. The two are part of a select group of five women from around the country who can pilot F-16 fighter jets. Vanderostyne and Davis are the first two female fighter pilots that have been with the South Dakota Air National Guard in its 70-year history. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)  (The Associated Press)

Two South Dakota pilots are now part of a select group of five women from around the country who can operate F-16 Fighting Falcon jets for the Air National Guard.

Gender, however, is the last thing the millennial pilots dwell on.

Instead, Capts. Shanon Davis and Valerie Vanderostyne are focused on perfecting the skills that one day may lead them to defend their country by operating an aircraft that can shoot down other airplanes and also drop bombs.

Davis and Vanderostyne are part of the 114th Fighter Wing with the South Dakota Air National Guard in Sioux Falls. After years of training, they're the first two female fighter pilots in the state Air Guard's 70-year history.