New Delhi: Captain Abhilasha Barak on Wednesday became the first woman officer to join the Army Aviation Corps as a combat aviator.
Described as a ‘Golden Letter Day’ for the Indian Army, Captain Barak was awarded the Coveted Wings along with 36 Army Pilots by the Director General and Colonel Commandant Army Aviation during a valedictory ceremony held at the Combat Army Aviation Training School, Nashik.
Till now, the Army did not have women officers in the flying branch, unlike the Indian Air Force and the Navy. It had women officers at the Air Traffic Control for ground duties.
Hailing from Haryana, Captain Barak was commissioned in the Army Air Defence Corps in September 2018.
Prior to joining the Army, she worked as a Business Technology Analyst for Deloitte, US.
Captain Barak is the daughter of Colonel S. Om Singh (Retd) and had completed several professional military courses before joining the Army Aviation Corps.
As a new aviator in the Combat Aviation Squadrons, Barak is now set to receive her own posting and will be flying a helicopter soon.
Established on 1 November 1986, the Army Aviation Corps were first deployed in India’s 1987 fight with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in Jaffna, known as ‘Operation Pawan’. They flew the HAL-developed Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.
Today, the Corps and their helicopters operate at high altitudes above areas like the Siachen glacier.
The Army Aviation Corps is one of the youngest corps of the Indian Army and operates a fleet of Chetak, Cheetah, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, and Rudra helicopters.
The main roles of the choppers include observation, reconnaissance, casualty evacuations, load drops as well as search and rescue operations besides attack.