India’s first three women fighter pilots will be formally commissioned into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on June 18.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will formally commission the women fighter pilots along with flight cadets of various branches of the IAF at a combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal on Hyderabad’s outskirts.
“The graduation parade will be a landmark in IAF history as the first three women pilots will be commissioned in the fighter stream of the flying branch,” said an official release.
The minister will review the passing-out parade and confer the ‘President’s Commission’, on behalf of the President of India, to 129 graduating trainees of various branches, including 22 women trainees.
Parrikar will also present the ‘Wings and Brevets’ to the newly commissioned officers of the flying branch and to officers from the Indian Navy and Coast Guard who have successfully undergone the flying training.
He will also present the President’s Plaque and the Sword of Honour to the flight cadet standing first in the order of merit in the flying branch, who will get to command the parade.
Parrikar will also award the President’s Plaque to the toppers in the navigation and ground duty branches of the graduating course.
On the eve of the graduation, he will attend a ceremonial guest night and interact with graduating trainees and their proud parents.
During this event, the defence minister will award trophies to the flight cadets who have excelled in their respective streams.
The pre-commissioning training at Air Force Academy for various branches such as flying, navigation, administration, logistics, accounts, education and meteorology commences in January and July every year and culminates with the combined graduation parade in December and June respectively.