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IAF to show women power at R-Day parade

Indian Air Force's women skydiving team had performed during the 79th Air Force Day function in October this year.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Reflecting increasing role and prominence of female officers in the armed forces, the Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent marching at the Republic Day parade would be led four women officers.

"The IAF marching contingent comprising four officers and 144 Airmen will be commanded by Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat," IAF spokesperson Wg Cdr Gerard Gallway said here.

The other three women officers in the contingent are Flying Officer Heena Pore, Anupam Chaudhary and Pooja Negi.

The spokesperson said women officers have achieved various feats including that of Squadron leader Veena Saharan who became the first woman military aviator to land Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft at Leh airport last month.

Saharan also holds the record of being the first women IAF pilot to fly the heavy duty transport aircraft in the service.

"Saharan got cleared for landing at Leh last month and became the first woman officer to land a military multi engine aircraft at the high altitude airfield," IAF spokesperson Sqn Ldr Priya Joshi said here.

"Since her first landing, she has been regularly undertaking air maintenance operations independently in the northern sector, a unique feat," she added.

Another transport aircraft pilot Sqn Ldr Teji Uppal has achieved the feat of being the first woman pilot to land An-32 aircraft at Doulat Beg Oldi (DBO).

DBO is the highest Advanced Landing Ground in the world at 16,500 feet and by landing there, Uppal has become the only woman aviator who is qualified to fly independently in almost all forward bases in the country.


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