• India
  • Aug 05

All-women Navy crew carries out surveillance mission over Arabian Sea

• In a first, five women officers of the Indian Navy from its ‘INAS 314’ frontline naval air squadron in Porbandar carried out independent maritime reconnaissance and surveillance mission in the North Arabian Sea onboard a Dornier 228 aircraft.

• The aircraft was captained by Mission Commander Lt Commander Aanchal Sharma. Other members of the team are Lt Shivangi and Lt Apurva Gite (both pilots), and tactical and sensor officers, Lt Pooja Panda and Sub Lt Pooja Shekhawat.

• The Indian Navy Air Squadron (INAS) 314 is a frontline naval air squadron based at Porbandar in Gujarat and operates the state-of-the-art Dornier 228 maritime reconnaissance aircraft. 

• The women officers received months of ground training and comprehensive mission briefings in the run-up to the sortie.

• The Indian Navy has been a front-runner in driving transformation in the Armed Forces. Its impressive and pioneering women empowerment initiatives include induction of women pilots, selection of women Air Operations Officers into the helicopter stream and conducting an all-women sailing circumnavigation expedition across the globe in 2018.

• This first-of-its-kind military flying mission was, however, unique and is expected to pave the way for women officers in the aviation cadre to assume greater responsibility and aspire for more challenging roles. 

• It perhaps marks a unique achievement for the Armed Forces that a crew of only women officers undertook an independent operational mission in a multi-crew maritime surveillance aircraft.

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