Golden Letter Day: Indian Army gets first combat woman aviator! Know all about it

The announcement was made on the official social media page of the Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD (Army) on Wednesday.

In 2018, in the Indian Air Force, for the first time a woman became a fighter pilot – and she was Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi.
In 2018, in the Indian Air Force, for the first time a woman became a fighter pilot – and she was Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi.

On Wednesday, Captain Abhilasha Barak became the first woman officer to join the Army Aviation Corps as Combat Aviator. Out of 15 women officers who were keen to join Army aviation, only two were selected after tough Pilot Aptitude Battery and Medical tests, according to sources in the Indian Army.

The announcement was made on the official social media page of the Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD (Army) on Wednesday.

More about Capt Barak’s achievement

She created history when she became the first woman Combat Aviator, after successfully completing her training.  After which she was awarded the prestigious Wing with 36 Army Pilots.

The office of ADGPI shared a post on social media related to the ceremony where she is being presented with the Wing with a photo caption reading: “Golden letter day in the history of Indian Army aviation. Captain Abhilasha Barak becomes the first woman officer to join Army Aviation Corps as Combat Aviator after successful completion of training.” 

Last June, two women officers from the Indian Army were down selected for training as a helicopter pilot. They both underwent training at the Combat Army Aviation Training School, based in Nashik. According to the Indian Army, so far the women were mostly given responsibility of Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Ground Duty in the Aviation Department.

In 2018, in the Indian Air Force, for the first time a woman became a fighter pilot – and she was Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi.

More about Army’s Aviation Corps

It is a critical component of the Indian Army and was formed on November 1, 1986 and soon thereafter was inducted into “Operation Pawan’’. This Corps is located at the Army Headquarters in New Delhi and is headed by a Director General.

Former Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had said last year that in 2022, women will be inducted as pilots in the Army Aviation Corps, and they will fly helicopters to forward locations and also be part of operations at the forward locations.

Role of Army Aviation Corps

The helicopters are used mostly for observation, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance, combat search and rescue, and essential load drops. At times these machines also carry out evacuation of injured troops during operations or health emergencies especially in high altitude areas.

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