Shaliza Dhami first IAF woman officer to head Command Combat Unit

Story by: Bhoomika
Designed by: Mohsin

Indian Air Force (IAF) has selected Group Captain Shaliza Dhami to head its command combat unit in the western sector near the Pakistan border. She has become the first women officer to be given command of a frontline combat unit - in this case, a missile squadron in the Western sector. A Group Captain is equivalent to a Colonel in Army

Meet Group Captain
Shaliza Dhami

Who is Shaliza Dhami

Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, Shaliza Dhami holds a BTech degree in Electronics and Communication. Her first solo flight was in 2003 in a HAL HPT-32 Deepak. She was commissioned as a Flying Officer in the Air Force on December 20, 2003, on a short-service commission and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on December 20, 2005, and to Squadron Leader on December 20, 2009

Group Captain Dhami was commissioned in the year 2003 as a helicopter pilot and has over 2,800 hours of flying experience. A Qualified Flying Instructor, she has served as Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit in the Western sector. Shaliza Dhami is currently posted in the Operations branch of a frontline Command Headquarters

Shaliza Dhami’s career

Dhami was promoted as a Wing Commander in 2016, then Flight Commander in 2019 -- the first woman officer to do so. She is the Flight Commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon Air Force Station and also first female flying instructor for Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. She went on to get a permanent commission

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami
and her achievements 

Group Captain Shaliza will now oversee missile readiness and command control in one of India's most sensitive border sectors alongside the Pakistan border

Shaliza Dhami at
Indo-Pakistan border

Congratulating officer Shaliza, Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd.), former Additional Director General of the think tank Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) tweeted, “Congratulations Group Captain Shaliza Dhami". Her younger brother has served in Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS)- India

Wishes pour in for
Shaliza Dhami

Dhami's appointment follows the Indian Army's assignment to women officers to command roles for the first time outside the medical stream. Around 50 of them will head units in operational areas, including forward. This will happen in both the Northern and Eastern Commands

Indian Armed Forces'
support for women officers

Shaliza’s appointment as the Group Captain came a day before International Women’s Day on March 8. The Indian Army posted a video of women in uniform and it was reshared by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Indian Army marks
International Women’s Day

Captain Shiva Chauhan became the first IAF woman officer to be deployed in the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen. She has been serving at Siachen’s Kumar post at an altitude of 15,600 feet for a three-month stunt

Women officers breaking
glass ceilings

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