Women combatants to be inducted in Navy for the first time | india | Hindustan Times
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Women combatants to be inducted in Navy for the first time

india Updated: Nov 18, 2009 21:55 IST
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Another male bastion would soon fall in the Indian Armed Forces when, for the first time in Naval history, two women officers would don flying overalls at a function here on November 20.

The Indian Navy has taken a huge step forward in giving women equal opportunities in the Armed Forces by allowing entry for females as Short Service Officers in the Observer Cadre, Naval sources told PTI.

The Naval Aviation, for the first time since its inception 56 years ago, has inducted women combatant officers as Observers on board its fleet of maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), they said.

Sub Lieutenants Seema Rani Sharma and Ambica Hooda would be the Navy's first women observers (airborne tacticians). Selected for Short Service Commission, they were initially trained at the Indian Naval Academy for an Orientation Course followed by training at the Observer School located at INS Garuda here.

The officers will be operating weapons, sensors, radars and navigate aircraft, they said.

During their 16-month training period, the two women went through a 'grinding' schedule which included Air Navigation, understanding complex maritime environment, Tactics of Naval warfare besides flying training in state-of-the-art sophisticated Dornier aircraft.

The training would end with the award of the coveted 'wing' here on November 20. The two officers would then be incorporated in the Maritime Patrol Squadrons of the Navy which maintains 'hawk eyed' vigil on the nation's maritime frontiers.