In a move that will redefine gender equality in the Indian Navy, two women officers have been selected to join as 'observers' or airborne tacticians in the helicopter stream. Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh will be the first women airborne combatants in the Indian Navy who will operate helicopters onboard warships.
Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh 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, who passed out of Indian Navy's Observer Course at INS Garuda, Kochi on September 20.
The ceremony was presided over 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral Antony George congratulated the graduating officers and said 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 on frontline warships of Indian Navy.