June 18: Creating a new history, the first batch of three female pilots Bhavana Kant, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi was commissioned in Indian Air Force fighter squadron today. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has commissioned the three women fighter pilots along with flight cadets at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal.
In the mid of their twenties, Flight cadets Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh, Mohana Singh of Rajasthan and Bhawana Kanth of Bihar created a new history for the Indian military as this is the first time that the defence forces agreed to permit woman flighters into the combat roles.
For Mohana, its dream come true as her father is a warrant officer in the IAF and grandfather served as a flight gunner at Aviation Research Centre. She says, "Joining the Indian Air Force for flying was a dream instilled by parents and grandparents. I wanted to carry on the family legacy of serving the nation by being in defence and what better way than fighter-flying."
Last October, the government has decided to open fighter stream for women, but the induction is only on an experimental basis of five years. But performing a combat role in the Army and the Navy is still under limitation due to combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.
The three female fighter will visit Bidar in Karnataka to begin their training on advanced jet trainer Hawk. But still it will take an other 6 days to get to fly supersonic warplanes.