AN ALL-WOMEN crew of the Indian Navy has completed maritime reconnaissance and surveillance mission in the North Arabian Sea onboard a Dornier 228 aircraft, the Navy said on Thursday. The mission was completed on August 3, an official said. The aircraft was captained by mission commander, Lt Cdr Aanchal Sharma, who was accompanied by pilots Lt Shivangi and Lt Apurva Gite, and Tactical and Sensor Officers, Lt Pooja Panda and SLt Pooja Shekhawat, it said.
“On August 3, 2022, five officers of the Indian Navy’s INAS 314 based at Naval Air Enclave, Porbandar, created history by completing the first all-women independent maritime reconnaissance and surveillance mission in the North Arabian Sea onboard a Dornier 228 aircraft,” it said. 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 squadron is commanded by Cdr S K Goyal, a Qualified Navigation Instructor. The women officers received months of ground training and comprehensive mission briefings in the run up to this historical sortie.
“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,” the Navy said.
The Navy said it has undertaken a number of steps in pioneering women empowerment with initiatives that include induction of women pilots, selection of women as Air Operations Officers into the helicopter stream and conducting an all-women sailing circumnavigation expedition across the globe in 2018.
Meanwhile, as the registration for the Senior Secondary Recruit (SSR) and Matric Recruit (MR) concluded on Wednesday, the Indian Navy received over 80,000 applications from women candidates, informed the officials.