Naval Aircrewman Concetta Denisi. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

She was the only one with experience.

She had done this so many times on a different plane. But, she was on a new aircraft now, and it was a new playing field. 

But she knew what she had to do, and she did it. 

Concetta Denisi is the only female Naval Aircrewman that’s part of Fleet Logistics Multi Mission Squadron (VRM) 50 based on Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. Denisi and a few other women from the squadron shared their stories of success – and perseverance – in exclusive interviews with The Coronado News.

Conducting airdrops from CMV-22 Osprey

Her squadron wanted to conduct airdrops out of the CMV-22 Osprey, a new aircraft that no one really quite knew how to operate, she said.

“There were too many cooks in the kitchen, no one knew what was going on,” Denisi said. “Finally I was, like, ‘I got this.’ It’s a simple evolution, let me see.” 

She had done airdrops similar to this on her previous aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound, and immediately got started on figuring out how to logistically conduct this assignment out of an aircraft she and the rest of her squadron had never worked on.

What began was emails upon emails to her connections with the U.S.Marine Corps and Navy SEALS to establish the guidelines needed to prepare for a brand new mission.

Katie Kidder, Emily Stellpflug and Concetta Denisi in front of their aircraft, the CMV-22B Osprey. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

“I went to conferences with [SEAL Team THREE] over at their base and helped organize this whole thing. But I also knew we needed people who knew what they were doing out of the aircraft that had actually done this,” Denisi said, knowing that there was more work to be done.

She reached out and was able to get a hold of two Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) instructors from Yuma, Arizona, “the top aircrewmen of the Marine Corps,” Denisi said. 

Helping prepare her team

She brought them over to prepare her team. 

And eventually, she did it. 

Denisi set the expectations of how to do airdrops from the Osprey, and how to do it properly and safely.

And it wasn’t just her squadron that learned from her success. 

She said the United States Naval Test Pilot School from Pax River, Maryland, multiple squadrons, divers and SEALS all gained experience from her teaching.

“It was a big event,” Denisi said. 

The only female aircrewman at VRM 50 trained the rest of her squadron and established the rules and guidelines for everybody using a CMV-22 Osprey for a mission that would be done over and over again. 

“There were so many people involved,” Denisi said. “That was pretty cool, being able to successfully execute this whole thing.”

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Madeline Yang is a reporter for The Coronado News, covering the City of Coronado, the U.S Navy and investigating the Tijuana/Coronado sewage issue. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with her Bachelors in Journalism with an emphasis in Visual Storytelling. She loves writing, photography and videography and one day hopes to be a filmmaker. She can be reached by phone at 916-835-5843.