Women Fighter Pilots E2P1 | Indian Women Touching the Skies | Veer by Discovery

Established on the 8th October 1932, the Indian Air Force was set up as an auxiliary unit to the British Royal Air Force. When India became a sovereign, the Air Force dropped the British Royal and recognised as the Indian Air Force. In 1965, war broke out as tensions escalate between India and Pakistan. While Pakistan enjoyed the lead of a surprise attack, the tides of the battle turned with the fierce counter attack of the Indian Air Force. When the war began in 1971, the country was armed with might of its fleet of fighter jets. The officers of the Indian Air Force, soared through the skies dominating the frontlines and creating a history. With time as the insurgency across the border became an undeniable threat, Indian Air Force launched the operation Meghdoot at the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground in 1984. And Operation Safed Sagar, in Kargil in 1999 Over the years the Indian Air Force has expanded itself by raising multiple new squadrons, inducting superior aircrafts and establishing the prestigious Air Force Academy at Dundigal, Hyderabad. Throughout the pages of nation’s history the Indian Air Force has remained a constant presence guarding the skies, ever agile and always prepared. Moving ahead with continuous development, the Indian Air Force inducted three women officers in combat roles. In 2015, this indomitable force added yet another chapter for the first time ever, by inducting women officers in combat roles. What now awaits these three female fighter pilots is the same life of courage, adventure and glory that inflames the passion of the rest of its officers. There have been many women who have come to academy who are upto the mark if not better in terms of flying who could have easily gone into fighters. I have seen 2 courses before me in the academy and in both the courses there were women trainees who wanted to become a fighter pilot, when they were given transport and helicopter they walked up to the chief instructor of the academy and they asked why can’t we be given fighters? But there were no options back then. So this decision came in 2015. In my opinion we were lucky to get this prestigious chance. Luck and fate might have helped open the gates of the male stronghold of fighter pilot for them. But it was the efforts of the three women that has led to them being here, a league no other Indian woman has entered We’ve women in space, we’ve had prime minister & president and even our defence minister is a woman. That way I think it was just something which was waiting to happen. It’s a ground breaking moment to induct women as combat crew directly. An officer of the Indian Air Force is not only a leader who carries a distinguished heritage but also a warrior who shoulders the responsibility for the safety of the nation. When instructed each officer have to step up and get prepared, sit in their aircraft and be ready to deploy in the battlefield. and forever mark their names with glory and pride. There are a lot of people who have this apprehension that women probably would buckle under the pressure but there are a lot of examples I have to cite of women being stronger than men. Durgavati and Laxmi bai are examples of courageous women who have single handedly destroyed the British army and till date we are singing their praise. When this opportunity came her face just brightened up! During her childhood Bhawana had expressed the desire to fly, we are very proud that she has fulfilled her childhood dream of flying The personnel in Indian Air Force, is a result of what happened in AFA. It was a change from a completely civil life and civil background I had no clue of what I am stepping into. The training was extremely tough, I used to be extremely worried. I used to tell her grandfather as to why did you let her enter the academy for such tough training? It was distressing for me to see her go through it All the physical work in entire day, we are so tired at night, we just lie on our bed and sleep. There wasn’t enough time to sleep, before joining the Air Force Academy she used to sleep a lot But after that 6 month when you see yourself you’re definitely more disciplined, you’re more confident and you know how to manage time. On completion of this first leg of their training, the three women are commissioned to three different squadron across the country. I am posted to OCU – Alpha, that stands for Operational conversion unit – Alpha. As of now I am flying Hawk Mark 132 which is a British aircraft 23 squadron, called as Panthers currently we are operating on BISON I am posted to 3 squadron, also known as the Cobras. I will be one of the last few who will be able to just get hold of the opportunity to fly the BISON. Posted in their respective squadrons, the three undertook successful sorties on the MiG 21s and the Hawk jets. With this accomplishment, not only have Avani and Bhawana overcome the pressures of clearing their first solo sorties, but also proved themselves as capable future fighter pilots. Bhawana used to be very stubborn but she wasn’t very mischievous as a child. There used to be squabbles amongst her and her siblings. So we thought she would fight with other children in school but that never happened and neither did we ever receive a complaint. According to my teachers, I was pretty okay because they didn’t know the real me. At home my situation was pretty bad becuase everytime I used to get beaten up while fighting. Now my parents are proud of me because they feel that I have achieved something They would never say anything bad about me but I used to annoy them a lot. My bench used to be at the end of the class. Suppose a group of boys were sitting, I used to go, stand there and give them a hard look and tell them to get off. If they don’t listen to me I am going to shout like anything.

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