National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 02 December 2019
A batch of three trainee officers of the 7th Dornier Conversion Course (DOCC) including a lady officer qualified as Dornier pilots and were awarded the coveted golden “Wings” at a simple and solemn ceremony held at INS Garuda on 02 Dec 19. Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Southern Naval Command was the Chief Guest for the ceremony who presented the “Wings” to the passing out officers, signifying their qualification as naval aviators.
The FOC-in-C South Rolling Trophy for standing first in overall order of merit was awarded to Lieutenant Shivam Pandey. Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Shivangi created history as the first woman pilot of the Indian Navy, on successful graduation from the course.
The award of the ‘Wings’ marks the culmination of one year of flying training at the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal and Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550, INS Garuda in Kochi. From here on, these pilots will join the ‘Dornier Operational Flying Training’ course at INAS 550 from mid-January 2020, prior to joining an operational Maritime Reconnaissance squadron.
SLt Shivangi, a native of Muzaffarpur, Bihar was inducted into the Indian Navy under the Short Service Commission (SSC)-Pilot entry scheme, and was part of the 27th Naval orientation course (NOC) Course at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. She was commissioned into the Navy in June last year. As part of her training, SLt Shivangi has flown Pilatus PC 7 Mk II, Basic Trainer at AFA and completed Dornier Conversion with the Indian Navy at Kochi. She will continue her training at INAS 550, the Dornier squadron at INS Garuda, to become a fully operational pilot on Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) aircraft.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.