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India's first three women fighter pilots meet Arjan Singh

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Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh along with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the former Chief of the Air Staff N C Suri and Air Officer in charge Personnel (AOP) Air Marshal B. Suresh with three newly commissioned women fighter pilots in New Delhi on August 12, 2016. A PIB photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): In a rare moment, India's first three women fighter pilots have met the country's senior-most air warrior Arjan Singh, who has regaled them with his anecdotes as he felicitated them at his house.

While the three women fighter pilots are aged around 22-23, Singh, the Marshal of the Air Force is 97 year-old. The age difference between them is about 75 years.

Singh, who was the Chief of the Air Staff during the 1965 conflict with Pakistan, is a living legend and is also the senior-most fighter pilot of the IAF.

He has been a constant source of inspiration to generations of air-warriors.

"An interaction and encouragement from the 'Marshal of The Air Force' will be a matter of great honour for the budding young women fighter pilots and will motivate them to excel in their profession," the IAF said in a statement.

IAF has been inducting women pilots in the flying branch since 1994. Till date, more than 180 women officers have been inducted as pilots in the transport and helicopter streams.

Over the years, the women pilots have proved their mettle and have performed at par with their male colleagues, the statement said.

The IAF has recently taken a decision to induct women pilots in the fighter stream which is far more strenuous and demanding in nature.

On June 18, three women pilots, on successful completion of initial flying training, were commissioned as pilots in the fighter stream of the IAF.

These women pilots competed alongside their male counterparts to be part of the elite fighting force and were selected solely on their capability. They are pioneers in the field and will be role models for the generations to follow, the IAF said.

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