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Sub-Lt Anamika Rajeev becomes Indian Navy's first woman helicopter pilot, awarded prestigious 'Golden Wings'

In a significant step towards the empowerment of women in the armed forces, Sub-Lieutenant Anamika B Rajeev has become the Indian Navy's first woman helicopter pilot.

Sub Lt Anamika Rajeev becomes Indian Navy's first woman helicopter pilot, awarded prestigious 'Golden Wings' snt
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First Published Jun 9, 2024, 10:32 AM IST

In a significant step towards the empowerment of women in the armed forces, Sub-Lieutenant Anamika B Rajeev has become the Indian Navy's first woman helicopter pilot. She was awarded the prestigious "Golden Wings" at the passing-out parade held at a naval air station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, on Saturday.

In another notable achievement, Lt Jamyang Tsewang has become the first commissioned naval officer from Ladakh. He also successfully graduated as a qualified helicopter pilot, as per the Indian Navy.

These two officers were among 21 who received the "Golden Wings" from Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, during the passing-out parade at INS Rajali.

The parade on Friday marked the successful culmination of an intensive 22-week training program, which included rigorous flying and ground training at the Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the alma mater for all helicopter pilots of the Indian Navy, the Navy said.

"Highlighting Indian Navy's commitment to gender inclusivity and expanding career opportunities for women, Sub-Lieutenant Anamika B Rajeev created history by graduating as the first woman naval helicopter pilot," the Navy said in a statement.

"Lt Jamyang Tsewang, the first Commissioned Naval Officer from the Union Territory of Ladakh, also successfully graduated as a qualified helicopter pilot," it said.

The Navy has already deployed women pilots for its Dornier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft.

Sub-Lieutenant Anamika Rajeev has become the first woman pilot authorized to fly helicopters such as the Sea Kings, ALH Dhruvs, Chetaks, and MH-60R Seahawks.

It is noteworthy that in 2018, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi of the Indian Air Force made history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, piloting a MiG-21 Bison on her inaugural solo flight.

The helicopter training school at INS Rajali, with a heritage spanning over five decades, has trained 849 pilots from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and friendly foreign nations.

The newly qualified pilots of the 102nd helicopter conversion course will be assigned to various frontline operational units of the Indian Navy. Here, they will undertake diverse missions including reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue, and anti-piracy operations, the Navy stated.

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