Two women officers, Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would be the first set of women airborne tacticians in India who would operate from the deck of warships.
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, Kochi.
Unfortunately, earlier the entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore. Also, 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.
Also, the chief guest 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 proudly said that it was a landmark occasion wherein 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.