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Indian Navy inducts women combatants for 1st time

Sub Lieutenants Seema Rani Sarma and Ambica Hooda, who will be inducted on November 20 as the Navy's first airborne tacticians, after their standardisation test at Kochi Naval Base on Wednesday. Image Credit: PTI

KOCHI (PTI): 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 sources said the two women officers would be joining the Indian Naval Maritime squadrons.

They would be posted at the Dornier Squadrons of the Navy where they would undergo the rigours of carrying out duties of Electronic Warfare Sensor Officers/Anti Submarine warfare missions and would be at the forefront of Naval Fleet operations, they said.

The nation's Defence forces have for long been a male bastion. Even though induction of women into the Armed forces had commenced a couple of decades ago, their roles were limited to medical and administrative branches.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air force has also said it was planning to induct women fighter pilots.

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