Dundigal (Hyderabad), June 18: Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Training Command said on Saturday that the induction of three women pilots into the fighter stream was a matter of great pride for the entire country.
Speaking to OneIndia on the sidelines of the event at Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Air Marshal Nair said that he would relish the moment of being part of history.
"Any organisation that grows need to take steps in the forward direction and that's what the IAF has done. I am proud that I am at the helm of affairs of the training along with my other team members when the first three women pilots are getting inducted," he said.
When asked about the mentor's role he played as disclosed by the Flying Cadets, Air Marshal Nair said that he oriented and made them understand the pluses and minuses of joining something new and challenging.
"When they came for training, we told them here's an opportunity for you to get into the combat stream. These three girls are real go-getters and they are set to inspire the future generations as well. I am satisfied that all the three made into becoming a fighter pilot," he said.
He said the IAF have been inducting women into all facets of its activities. "We first inducted women into the flying arm in 1993 and now we have taken a decision to induct them into the fighter stream as combat pilots. It is an ongoing process and I am sure it is just the start and we have a long way to go to induct more and more women pilots," Air Marshal Nair said.
He said from 2017 onwards, the strength of the women pilots at will see an increase and hoped that many more would volunteer for the fighter stream.
"It's a great opportunity and any women pilot can aspire to become a fighter pilot," he added.
By Our Defence Bureau