Two women script history; set to join decks of Indian warships

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Rear Admiral Antony termed it a landmark occasion wherein for the first-time women are going to be trained in helicopter operations which would ultimately pave way for the deployment of women in frontline warships of Indian Navy.

Two women from Hyderabad and Delhi have scripted history by becoming the first set of women to be eligible to operate from the decks of Indian warships.

Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh were on Monday, September 21, selected to join as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the Indian Navy’s helicopter stream that would ultimately pave the way for women being posted in frontline warships, PTI reported.

Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore. The two are a part of a group of 17 officers of the Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard, who were awarded ‘Wings’ on graduating as ‘Observers’ at a ceremony held today at INS Garuda at Kochi.

The group comprised 13 officers of Regular batch and four woman officers of Short Service Commission batch. The ceremony was presided over by Rear Admiral Antony George, Chief Staff Officer (Training) who presented the awards and coveted wings to the graduating officers.

In addition, the chief guest also awarded the Instructor Badge to six other officers, (five from the Indian Navy including a woman and another from Indian Coast Guard) who had successfully graduated as Qualified Navigation Instructors (QNI).

The Rear Admiral Antony highlighted the fact that it was a landmark occasion wherein for the first-time women are going to be trained in helicopter operations which would ultimately pave way 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. The two said that they were proud to work in the Indian Navy.

"Things are changing in the Indian Navy every day. The navy is giving everybody an opportunity every day. Yes, we're breaking barriers every day but there are a lot of opportunities coming up every day. Whatever role the Indian Navy gives us, we will gladly take them," Sub Lieutenant Singh, a fourth generation armed forces officer from Hyderabad told NDTV.

"Our training has been really rigorous. We've both completed over 60 hours of training.... We take pressure and tension bang on. We don't get worked up," she said.

Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi said she enjoyed the training. "We've been treated equally... Whatever training our male counterparts received, we went through the same training... It is a huge responsibility, the task is challenge. We are looking forward to it,” who is from Ghaziabad near Delhi, told NDTV.

Image Credit: Indian Express

 

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