A woman officer will lead the IAF Day Parade for the first time today. Latest News India

A woman officer, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, will for the first time command the Indian Air Force Day parade to mark the 91st anniversary of service at Air Force Station Bamaroli in Prayagraj on Sunday, officials familiar with the matter said.

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami

A helicopter pilot, Dhami was also the first woman to command a frontline combat unit of the IAF in March. She is commanding a missile squadron in the western sector. Commissioned in the IAF in 2003, Dhami is a certified flying instructor and has flown over 2,800 hours.

The development comes at a time when the armed forces are opening up more frontiers for women and giving them equal opportunities with their male counterparts.

“Also for the first time, the parade will have a women’s contingent including the newly-inducted Agnivar Vayu, who will march shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts. The parade will also feature a flight of the Garuda Commandos for the first time. is,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moge said on Sunday.

Women in uniform are no longer on the fringes but are being assigned central roles like their male counterparts – flying fighter jets, serving on warships, below the officer rank (PBOR) cadre. are being inducted into the personnel, are eligible for permanent commission, and are undergoing training at the National Defense Academy.

The IAF and the Navy have allowed female officers to join their special forces units — the Grud Commando Force and the Marine Commandos respectively, to promote gender equality in their ranks, provided they meet the selection criteria. .

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary will unveil the new Air Force flag at Prayagraj. The IAF crest will now be displayed in the upper right corner of the insignia, which currently displays the national flag in the upper left canton and the IAF tricolor roundel on the right. The current flag was adopted more than seven decades ago, replacing the flag of the Royal Indian Air Force which featured the Union Jack and the RIAF roundel (red, white and blue).

The crest of the IAF consists of the Ashoka lion above, below which is the Himalayan eagle with its wings spread.

A pale blue ring encircles the eagle with Bharatiya Vayu Sena written in Hindi. The IAF motto, Nabh Sparshham Deeptam (Touch the Sky with Glory), is inscribed below the eagle in golden Devanagari.

This comes a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Indian Navy’s flag at the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier Vikrant, dropping the seal of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the St George’s Cross. .

MiG-21 fighter jets of the IAF will take part in the IAF Day Flypast over the Sangam at Prayagraj for the last time this year. The flypast will involve around 110 aircraft, including the IAF’s latest C-295 transport aircraft. The air display will include Rafales, Sukhoi-30s, Mirage-2000s, MiG-29s, Jaguars, LCA Tejas, C-17s, C-130Js, IL-76s, AN-32s, Chinooks, Apaches and Hawks.

The IAF held its annual ceremonies in Chandigarh last year, in line with the three services now holding their flagship ceremonies outside the national capital. The parade was traditionally held at the Hindon Air Base on the outskirts of the national capital.

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