Abhilasha Barak is Indian Army’s first woman combat aviator

New Delhi: Captain Abhilasha Barak became the first woman to join the Army Aviation Corps as a helicopter pilot after completing a year-long course at the Combat Army Aviation Training School at Nashik in Maharashtra, the army said.

Barak, 26, hails from Haryana and is the daughter of a retired colonel. She was commissioned in the Army Air Defense Corps in September 2018.

She was awarded ‘wings’ along with 36 army pilots by Army Aviation director-general Lieutenant General Ajay Kumar Suri during a valedictory ceremony at the Nashik-based training school, the army added.

Barak has been assigned to the second flight of the 2072 Army Aviation Squadron that operates the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH), officials familiar with the matter said.

While women officers in the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy have been flying helicopters for long, the army took a decision in early 2021 to allow them to opt for its aviation wing. Until now, women officers were assigned only ground duties in army aviation.

One of the turning points for women in the military came in 2015 when IAF decided to induct them into its fighter stream. Last year, the Indian Navy deployed four women officers on warships after a hiatus of almost 25 years.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: Twitter@adgpi)

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