This is for the first time that two women officers have been chosen to join as ‘Observers’ in the Indian Navy’s helicopter stream. This would eventually create a path for women to be posted in frontline warships.
These two women Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would operate from the deck of warships. They will be the first women who will be airborne tacticians in India.
Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed-wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
These two women are part of a 17 officers group of the Navy. The group include four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard. According to a Defence statement, these two women were awarded ‘Wings’ on graduating as ‘Observers’ at a ceremony held today at INS Garuda.
There are 13 officers of Regular batch in the group and 4 women officers are of Short Service Commission batch.
Rear Admiral Antony George who is the Chief Staff Officer (Training) presided the ceremony and presented the awards and coveted wings to the graduating officers.
Further, the chief guest also presented Instructor Badge awards to six other officers who successfully graduated as QNI (Qualified Navigation Instructors).
The Rear Admiral Antony stressed the fact that this was the first time when women will be trained in helicopter operations and it was a landmark. He added that this would lead a path for the deployment of women in frontline warships of Indian Navy.
The officers of the 91st Regular course and 22nd SSC Observer course were trained in air navigation, flying procedures, tactics employed in air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and exploitation of airborne avionic systems.
These officers would serve on-board Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, the statement said.