The first woman to hold a command position in the IAF is Shaliza Dhami

The first woman to hold a command position in the IAF is Shaliza Dhami.

The leadership of a surface-to-air missile squadron in Punjab will be taken over by Group Captain Dhami (equal to Army Colonel) on March 27, shattering yet another glass ceiling in the mainly male-dominated environment of the armed services. Group Capt. 

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Image Source: East Coast Daily English

Dhami, an IAF-commissioned helicopter pilot with overall 2,800 hours of flight time, is a certified flying instructor on the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

She had held the position of flight commander for a helicopter unit in the western culture sector before being chosen by the IAF to become the first woman to ever command a frontline combat unit. 

She has also received praise from the air official commanding-in-chief twice, an official added. While the Navy has placed 30 women administrators on front-line vessels, the IAF has 18 women piloting fighter aircraft like MiG-21s, MiG-29s, Sukhois, and modern Rafales.

As of right now, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami is prepared to assume command of a frontline battle unit fighting Pakistan. In the IAF, there are 18 female fighter pilots. Also, there are around 145 female pilots of helicopters and cargo planes.

Dhami’s choice to lead a combat unit comes at a time when 108 women have also been authorized for promotion to the Colonel (select) rank for the first time in “combat-support arms” and services like the Corps of Engineers, Ordnance, Signals, EME, and other similar branches after receiving permanent commissions in the Army, as was first reported by TOI.

Several of them are gradually assuming command of their units, with the exception of a few who have low medical categories or have stated their refusal. 

A second commander stated that roughly 50% of them are stationed in the high-operational Eastern and Northern Commands.

Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Intelligence Corps, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Electronics and Mechanical Engineers are just a few of the Army groups that now have female officers in leadership. Also, the Navy has begun accrediting female officers on front-line ships, which were previously off-limits to female officers.

Several of them were assigned to the Army’s delicate northern and eastern commands.

In the armed squads, there are 10,493 female officers, with the majority working in the medical field.

Women are now being appointed as officers in the ordnance, which has over 280 units and uses a range of howitzers, guns, and rocket systems. 

Women are still not permitted to join the infantry, armored corps, or mechanized infantry.

Although women have been commissioned as officers in the armed forces since the earlier 1990s, there are just little more than 3,900 of them in the 65,000-person officer cadre. 

In the military medical field, there are around 1,670 female doctors, 190 female dentists, and 4,750 female nurses.

Vineet Joshi, her husband, is a helicopter pilot for the Indian Air Force.

In 2016, the Indian Air Force began enlisting female fighter pilots; the initial class had three women. Nowadays, they use the Rafale, Su-30MKI, and MiG-21.

A few weeks prior, the Army approved up to 108 female officers for promotion to the rank of Colonel (choice grade), making them qualified for leadership positions.

According to information presented by the government to Parliament last year, the Indian Army, which is the biggest of the three assistance, has the most female officers with 1,705, followed by 1,640 in the Indian Air Force and 559 in the Indian Navy.

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