National SecurityNews

Indian Army gets first woman combat aviator

New Delhi. Capt. Abhilasha Barak became the first woman officer to join the Army Aviation Corps as a “combat aviator” after she successfully completed the combat aviation course.

She was awarded the coveted “wings” along with 36 Army pilots by the director-general and colonel commandant of Army Aviation at a valedictory ceremony at the Combat Army Aviation Training School in Nashik.

Capt. Abhilasha Barak, who hails from Haryana, was commissioned in the Army Air Defence Corps in September 2018. She is daughter of Col. S. Om Singh (Retd). Capt. Abhilasha has done a number of professional military courses before joining the Army Aviation Corps.

Captain Barak is an alumnus of The Lawrence School, Sanawar. She completed her graduation in B Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Delhi Technological University in 2016 and was placed at Deloitte, USA.

In 2018, she was commissioned into the Indian Army from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. During her attachment with Corps of Army Air Defence, she was selected as a Contingent Commander for Presentation of Colours to Army Air Defence by President Ram Nath Kovind.

She attained ‘A’ grading in Army Air Defence Young officers course, 75.70 per cent in Air Traffic Management and Air Laws course and passed the promotional exam, Part B, in her first attempt.

“After completing my training from Officers Training Academy, Chennai, in 2018, I opted for Army Aviation Corps. As I was filling the form, I knew I was eligible for only ground duty role but I ended up mentioning that I had qualified Pilot Aptitude Battery Test and computerised pilot selection system. Somewhere in my heart, I always knew that the day was not far away when Indian Army would start inducting women as combat pilots,” she said in the interview.

After two years, when the induction of women as pilots was announced, it all came full circle for Captain Barak. “Not many people know this, but in 1987, during Operation Meghdoot, my father was leading a patrolling party from Amar Post to Bana Top Post (earlier Quaid Post). Owing to bad weather, he suffered from Cerebral Odema and was brought back to Amar Post, from where he was evacuated right in time. He owes his life to the Army Aviation Corps and hence, so do I,” according to excerpts of the interview.

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