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Business News/ News / India/  Shaliza Dhami: A woman officer will command Indian Air Force Day parade for the first time
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Shaliza Dhami: A woman officer will command Indian Air Force Day parade for the first time

Woman officer, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, will command the Indian Air Force Day parade for the first time today.

Indian Air Force helicopter flies over Sangam during the full dress rehearsal at Prayagraj as part of preparations for the 91st Air Force Day celebrations on October 6. (Anand Prashad)Premium
Indian Air Force helicopter flies over Sangam during the full dress rehearsal at Prayagraj as part of preparations for the 91st Air Force Day celebrations on October 6. (Anand Prashad)

On the occasion of Indian Air Force Day, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, a woman officer will command the parade for the first time today, according to an official. The parade, commemorating the service's 91st anniversary, will take place at the air force station in Bamrauli in Prayagraj, reported HT.

Dhami, a helicopter pilot, made history earlier this year as she was the first woman to take command of a frontline IAF combat unit in March. Currently, she leads a missile squadron in the Western sector. Dhami was commissioned into the IAF in 2003 and is a qualified flying instructor. She has logged in over 2,800 flight hours so far.

Watch: Indian Air Force releases video revealing India’s ISRO Gaganyaan astronauts

On October 8, IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said, “Also for the first time, the parade will have an all-women contingent consisting of the newly inducted Agniveer Vayu, who shall march shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. The parade also includes a flight of Garud commandos for the first time," reported HT.

To promote gender equality, the IAF and navy have permitted women officers to join their special forces units within their ranks, such as the Garud commando force and Marine Commandos provided they meet selection criteria.

During the event, the Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari will unveil the Air Force’s new ensign. The updated ensign will display the IAF crest in the top right corner, replacing the previous design that had been adopted over seven decades ago.

The IAF crest showcases the Ashoka lion on the top and the Himalayan eagle below it, encircled by a light blue ring with Bhartiya Vayu Sena written on it in Hindi. The motto "Nabh Sparsham Deeptam" (Touch the Sky with Glory) is inscribed in golden Devanagari below the eagle.

Also read: LCA Tejas: Indian Air Force to get first-ever twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft, aligned with ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’

Last year at the commissioning ceremony of aircraft carrier Vikrant PM Modi unveiled the Indian Navy’s ensign. The seal of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the source of the flag's inspiration.

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This year's IAF Day flypast over Sangam in Prayagraj will be the last appearance for IAF's MiG-21 fighter jets. The flypast is set to feature around 110 aircraft, including the most recent addition to the IAF's fleet, the C-295 transport plane.

The display will showcase an array of aircraft including Rafales, Sukhoi-30s, Mirage-2000s, MiG-29s, Jaguars, LCA Tejas, C-17s, C-130Js, IL-76s, AN-32s, Chinooks, Apaches, and Hawks, reported HT.

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Published: 08 Oct 2023, 09:00 AM IST
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