New Delhi, Aug, 12 : The three newly-commissioned first women fighter pilots, who are ushering the Indian Air Force (IAF) into a new era of women in combat roles, were felicitated by senior most fighter pilot and Marshal of the Indian Air Force (MIAF) Arjan Singh, the Chief of the Air Staff during the 1965 conflict with Pakistan, at his residence here on Friday.
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, former chief of the Air Staff N.C. Suri and Air Officer in charge Personnel (AOP) Air Marshal B. Suresh were also present on the occasion. "What I want to tell them that they have joined a very good service. Nobody here has ever regretted having joined the Air Force, because it is full of action and excitement.
You are not afraid of action, you are afraid just for the first two days and after that it's a routine.
And, we lose friends, but that's the part of life where we are. I wish them very best of luck," Marshal Singh told ANI. Air Chief Marshal Raha said, "It's a very special occasion for us that we have three young women fighter pilots here being felicitated by the Marshall of the Air Force.
We feel very proud and I am sure that they will do well as professional as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force.
And, I am sure that the entire Indian youth, especially young women, will get enthused to join Air Force as pilots and as specialist fighter pilots." The three women pilots were commissioned as pilots in the fighter stream of the IAF on successful completion of initial flying training on June18.
However, the IAF has been inducting women pilots in the flying branch since 1994 and more than 180 women officers have been inducted as pilots in the transport and helicopter streams till date.
The IAF has recently taken a decision to induct women pilots in the fighter stream, which is far more strenuous and demanding in nature.