Indian Navy s set to get the first two women helicopter pilots who will operate from warships. These officers, Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh have been selected to join as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians) in the helicopter stream. So far, women were restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
The duo are a part of a group of 17 officers of the Indian Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard (13 officers of Regular batch and 04 woman officers of Short Service Commission batch) who were awarded “Wings” on graduating as “Observers” at a ceremony held on 21 Sep 20 at INS Garuda, Kochi.
The ceremony was presided by Rear Admiral Antony George NM, VSM, 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) on the occasion.
Another woman from the Observer Course, Sub Lieutenant Kreeshma R was awarded Book prize on being adjudged the ‘Best in Overall Order of Merit’.
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.