Addressing the media after witnessing the commissioning of first three women pilots into the fighter stream, Parrikar said the event would inspire many more women in future.
Flying Officers Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh scripted history when they became the first women pilots to get inducted into the fighter stream of IAF during the Passing out Parade (PoP) at Air Force Academy (AFA) in Dundigal.
Parrikar who inspected the guard of honour termed the event as a red letter day for India. A total of 130 Flight Cadets, including 22 women trainees were commissioned as Flying Officers at AFA.
Parrikar gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in their training. Flying Officer Adarsh Hooda from the Flying branch was awarded President's Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff 'Sword of Honour' for standing first in Overall Merit in Pilot Course. Flying Officer Narendra Kushwaha and Flying Officer Sahil Yadav were awarded President's Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.
Parrikar said the government would take one step at a time and see how the three women cadets move ahead with their mission.
"There are some technical challenges permitting women into the combat missions in armed forces. We will go one step at a time," Parrikar said.
"Flight cadets of all branches, on joining, are imparted their Basic Training together at AFA, whose foremost aim is to transform the selected young trainees into Air Warriors of the highest professional, intellectual, physical and moral calibre, dedicated to a lifetime of synergy service to the nation," says an IAF spokesperson.
(Photos Courtesy: Sharath Pillai/Tarmak007)