Indian Navy lauds women aircrew for maiden mission in Arabian Sea

Onboard a Dornier-228 aircraft, five Indian Navy officers created history by completing the first all-women independent maritime reconnaissance and surveillance mission in the Arabian Sea.

The aircraft was captained by Lt Cdr Aanchal Sharma, who was assisted by pilots Lt Shivangi and Lt Apurva Gite, as well as Tactical and Sensor Officers Lt Pooja Panda and SLt Pooja Shekhawat. INAS 314 is a frontline Naval Air Squadron based in Porbandar, Gujarat, that operates the cutting-edge Dornier 228 maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

“The women officers received months of ground training and comprehensive mission briefings in the run up to this historical sortie,” the Navy said in a statement.

“The Indian Navy has been a forerunner in promoting armed forces modernisation.” “Its trailblazing women empowerment efforts include the induction of female pilots, the selection of female air operations officers into the helicopter stream, and the conduct of an all-women sailing circumnavigation expedition around the world in 2018,” it added.

This first-of-its-kind military flying operation was unique and is expected to pave the way for female officers in the aviation corps to accept greater responsibility and aspire to more challenging tasks. The fact that a crew of only female officers completed an autonomous operational mission in a multi-crew maritime surveillance aircraft may be a first for the Armed Forces.


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