The Indian Air Force has selected Group Captain Shaliza Dhami to take over command of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector, shattering the proverbial glass ceiling.
For the first time ever in the IAF’s history, a woman officer has been given command of a frontline combat unit – in this case, a missile squadron in the Western sector.
Earlier this month, the Army began assigning women officers to command roles for the first time, outside the medical stream. Around 50 of them will head units in operational areas, including forward. This will happen in both the Northern and Eastern Commands.
Group Captain Dhami was commissioned in the year 2003 as a Helicopter pilot and has over 2,800 hours of flying experience. A Qualified Flying Instructor, she has served as Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit in the Western sector.
A Group Captain in the IAF is equivalent to a Colonel in the Army.
Having been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief on two occasions, the officer is presently posted in the Operations branch of a frontline Command Headquarters.
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