Prayagraj: In a first in the history of the Indian Air Force, a woman officer, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami led the IAF Day parade at air force station Bamrauli in Prayagraj on the occasion of the force’s 91st anniversary.
Group Captain Shaliza Dhami is a helicopter pilot and was also the first woman to assume command of a frontline IAF combat unit in March this year.
She heads a missile squadron in the western sector. Commissioned into the Service in 2003, the officer has an experience of 2,800 hours of flying and also a qualified flying instructor.
It should be mentioned that the development comes at a time when the armed forces are opening more avenues for women and giving them opportunities on a par with their male counterparts.
It must be also mentioned that the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy have allowed women officers to join their combat unit and special forces units --- the Garud commando force and Marine Commandos, respectively, to promote gender equality within their ranks.
Indian Army has started inducting women officers in the artillery units, which is considered as a combat-support arm.