Indian Air Force Group Captain Shalija Dhami has become the first woman officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be given command of a frontline combat unit. The announcement was made just before International Women’s Day, observed on March 8. Dhami will command the combat unit of the Western Sector.
Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has many achievements to her credit. In 2019, she became the first woman officer in the Air Force, who was promoted to the post of flight commander of the flying unit. She has 15 years of experience in the Airforce in handling various positions.
Commissioned as helicopter pilot in 2003, Gp Capt Shaliza Dhami is selected by #IAF to take over command of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector. With over 2800 hrs of flying experience, the Officer is commended by AOC-in-C on two occasions.@giridhararamane@IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/cJ5RXQfh9h— A. Bharat Bhushan Babu (@SpokespersonMoD) March 7, 2023
Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, Dhami has done BTech in Electronics and Communication. Her parents were in government jobs. She had dreamed of becoming a pilot from class 9 and did her first solo flight in 2003. She blew up the HPT 32 lamp. This is a basic trainer aircraft. She was the first woman to do so.
Dhami got a short service commission in the Indian Air Force on December 20, 2003. After this, she was promoted and became flight lieutenant in 2005 and squadron leader in 2009. Not only this, but in 2016 she also became the first flight commander of the Indian Air Force.
Group Captain Dhami has a long list of achievements. She is the first woman flying instructor in the Indian Air Force as well. She is also the first woman officer to get a permanent commission in the IAF. Dhami has over 2800 hours of flying experience in aircraft and helicopters. She is currently posted in the operations branch of a frontline command headquarters.
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