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

Today marks a historic moment as Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, a woman officer, takes command of the Indian Air Force Day parade for the first time.

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, a female officer, is set to command the Indian Air Force Day parade today, marking a significant milestone as she takes charge for the first time. The parade, honoring the 91st anniversary of the service, will be held at the air force station in Bamrauli, Prayagraj, as reported by HT.

Earlier this year, Dhami, a helicopter pilot, achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first woman to command a frontline IAF combat unit in March. Presently, she serves as the leader of a missile squadron in the Western sector. Commissioned into the IAF in 2003, Dhami is also a qualified flying instructor with an impressive record of over 2,800 flight hours.

On October 8, Wing Commander Ashish Moghe, the spokesperson for the Indian Air Force (IAF), announced that, for the first time, the parade would feature an all-women contingent, comprising the newly inducted Agniveer Vayu, who will march alongside their male counterparts. Additionally, the parade will showcase, for the first time, a flight of Garud commandos, as reported by HT.

In an effort to promote gender equality, both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the navy have granted permission for women officers to join special forces units, including the Garud commando force and Marine Commandos, provided they meet the specified selection criteria.

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

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

The upcoming Indian Air Force (IAF) Day flypast over Sangam in Prayagraj is significant as it marks the final appearance of the IAF’s MiG-21 fighter jets. The flypast is planned to include approximately 110 aircraft, featuring the latest addition to the IAF’s fleet, the C-295 transport plane.

The aerial display will present a diverse 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, as reported by HT.


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