Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal stands in front of a U-2 Feb. 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Tengesdal is the only black female U-2 pilot in history. Tengesdal is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing inspector general and a U-2 pilot.

Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal stands in front of a U-2 Feb. 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Tengesdal is the only black female U-2 pilot in history. Tengesdal is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing inspector general and a U-2 pilot.

*Many little girls had aspirations of soaring the skies and being at one with the stars, but one child we know of actually grew up and did it.

Her name is Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal, and she is one of only eight female pilots to ever fly the U-2, an aircraft built to go to extremely high altitudes to collect intelligence which it brings back to decision makers worldwide for analysis.

Tengesdal is also the only black female pilot during the aircraft’s history.

 Born in the New York borough of the Bronx, Tengesdal is also a 9th Reconnaissance Wing inspector general and she was recently selected for promotion to the rank of colonel. She proudly asserts that she does not take her job for granted.

“I have seen the curvature of the earth,” Tengesdal said. “I have seen sights most people will never see. Flying at more than 70,000 feet is really beautiful and peaceful. I enjoy the quiet, hearing myself breathing, and the hum of the engine. I never take it for granted.”

Read more at EURThisNthat.