IAF Inducts First Woman Fighter Pilot From J&K’s Rajouri
Flight Lt Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, and Mohana Singh were the first women to be inducted as flying officers.
Mawya Sudan, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, has become the first woman fighter pilot from Rajouri district to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the combined graduation passing out parade held on Saturday, 19 June, at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad’s Dundigal.
The ceremony was reviewed by Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
Sudan, who hails from Lamberi village in Rajouri's Nowshera, was first commissioned into the IAF as a Flying Officer and is the 12th woman officer to be inducted as an IAF fighter pilot.
'Feeling Proud': Family
Expressing his happiness over his daughter's achievement, news agency ANI reported Vinod Sudan as saying, "I am feeling proud. Now she is not just our daughter but also a daughter of this country. We have been receiving congratulatory messages since yesterday."
The fighter pilot's sister, Manyata Sudan, told ANI that Mawya was inclined towards the air force since her school days and always wanted to become a fighter pilot.
“I am incredibly proud of my younger sister. This was her dream since childhood. I am sure she will add to her laurels soon. This is just the beginning. Everyone is treating her like their own daughter," she said, adding, "People from all over the country are supporting and motivating her. It is an inspiring story for everyone.”
Sushma Sudan, her mother, said, "I am happy that she has worked so hard and achieved her goal. She has made us proud."
Sudan will now undergo fighter training for over a year before she can become ‘fully operational’ as a fighter pilot, The Times of India reported.
Flight Lieutenants Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh were the first women to be commissioned as flying officers into the fighter stream in June 2016.
Their inclusion broke the glass ceiling of the combat-exclusion policy for women in the Indian armed forces. The IAF currently has 11 women fighter pilots who have undergone training to fly supersonic jets like the MiG-21s.
(With inputs from ANI and The Times of India)
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