Women fighter pilots are battle ready


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Flight cadets Shivangi Singh and Pratibha received wings from Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at the Combined Graduation ceremony here on Saturday, which confirms that within a year they will be flying a Sukhoi or a MIG.

Shivangi Singh hails from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is the daughter of Kumareswara Singh a businessman and Seema Singh, a teacher and a homemaker.

"it’s a proud moment passing out as a fighter pilot. It is different to be a fighter pilot because we know that we are preparing for something inevitable," Shivangi said agreeing that she knew the consequences of being in the forefront of a battle.

"Not that there will be war right now, but I am ready. Surely war interests me as I love fighting for my country. My parents well thought about the consequences," a beaming Shivangi says.

"I was a fighter from childhood. My mother used to say that I used to get into combats. Conventional jobs were never on my agenda," she said. The fighter pilot was a national level javelin thrower and also a basketball player.

Pratibha, who is from Rajgarh, Rajasthan, had her father in Maratha infantry of Indian army and her mother is a teacher. Pratibha was influenced by the IAF contingent, that fly at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. She was a college level NCC cadet and had attended Republic Day camp in New Delhi.

She says that women cadets were shown no special consideration but were made to slog like their male counterparts. "But women cadets can do better, women can fly well," she says encouraging others that any branch of IAF offers similar challenges.

Like Shivangi, this Rajasthani is also battle ready. "Indian air force is known for its combative spirit. After this we will get trained in Bidar on Hawks for a year after which will be allotted squadrons, like MIG or Sukhoi," she said.

Akshaita Jamwal, Renuka Sharma ( Transport), Indrani Saha, Rutika R Desai, (Helicoter), Ankita Choudhary, Armeen Sahneela, Sukanya Rai (Administration), SCA Kusum, WCA Naaz, Nidhi Dubey (Logistics) and Jasleen Kaur and Pooja Sharma (Meteorology) were the other women cadets among the 105 cadets that graduated from the 200 Pilots and Ground duty officers course at the Airforce Academy.

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