Women never fail to amaze! From managing an entire house to a school, company, district, state or nation — they keep proving us that they are equally capable as other genders and can do wonders if given a chance!
Creating a new history, two Indian Navy officers — Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh — are going to be the first women combatants who will be operating as specialists (observers) onboard Indian Navy helicopters which operate from the deck of warships.
Women officers, before this, have been overseeing the logistics and medical department of Navy fleet tankers but they were never a part of the crew onboard destroyers or frigates. But with these two young officers, things will be changing for the better. The sub lieutenants would be trained for operating a host of sensors onboard navy multi-role helicopters, and they would further be responsible for detecting enemy submarines and warships and provide targeting solutions to the pilots of the choppers. The latter would fire the actual weapons, torpedoes or anti-ship missiles.
“They would, in effect, be the first set of women airborne combatants who would be operating from warships. Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed-wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore,” Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
Rear Admiral Antony George also called it ‘a landmark occasion wherein for the first-time women will be trained in helicopter operations which would ultimately pave the way for the deployment of women in frontline warships of Indian Navy.’
“Things are changing in the Indian Navy every day. The Navy is giving everybody an opportunity every day. Yes, we’re breaking barriers every day, but there are a lot of opportunities coming up every day. Whatever role the Indian Navy gives us, we will gladly take them,” Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh, a fourth-generation armed forces officer, told NDTV. Her father had retired from the Navy several years ago.
“Our training has been really rigorous. We’ve both completed over 60 hours of training… We take pressure and tension bang on. We don’t get worked up,” she said.
“We’ve been treated equally… Whatever training our male counterparts received, we went through the same training… It is a huge responsibility; the task is a challenge. We are looking forward to it,” Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi, who is from Ghaziabad near Delhi, told NDTV.
As per the reports, the women officers from the Indian Air Force may also join their naval counterparts in shattering the glass ceiling with a woman fighter pilot being trained to fly the newly induct Rafale fighter jets. The pilot would be based out of the 17 Squadron in Ambala where the five Rafale jets are stationed.
Infano salutes these gritty lady officers and the entire Indian Navy on the occasion of Indian Navy day.
Indian Navy day is celebrated on 4 December every year to recognize the achievements and role of the Indian Navy to the country. 4 December was chosen as on that day in 1971, during Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. On this day, those who martyred in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 are also remembered.