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India Completes First All-Women Maritime Surveillance Mission at Bay of Bengal

© AP Photo / Rajanish KakadeFILE- INS Chennai, a Kolkata class destroyer, is moored at a jetty in Mumbai, India, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.
FILE- INS Chennai, a Kolkata class destroyer, is moored at a jetty  in Mumbai, India, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.03.2024
India's Defence Ministry has said that the "milestone" mission underscored the commitment of the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command to foster "gender neutrality" in the armed forces.
India’s Andaman and Nicobar Command, the country's only tri-service integrated theatre unit, undertook its maiden “all-women maritime surveillance mission” to mark the International Women’s Day, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence on Friday.
“The occasion highlighted the crucial role played by women combatants in all the walks of the Naval Air Arm, which included pre-flight briefing, meteorological briefing, medical check-up and Air Traffic Control (ATC) briefing, all of which were conducted by women officers,” the Indian statement said.
The crew based at INS Utkrosh, India's naval air base, comprised Lieutenant Commander Shubhangi Swaroop, Lieutenant Commander Divya Sharma and Lieutenant Vaishali Mishra, the ministry said.
It stated that the mission was testament to the "capability of women to undertake independent operational tasks, highlighting their invaluable contributions towards the nation’s defence and security".

The first ever all-women mission also marked the 40th anniversary of INAS 318, the elite Naval air squadron engaged in surveillance in the Andaman and Nicobar Command, headquartered in Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal.

"The squadron commenced its journey with the induction of Islander aircraft which were replaced by Dornier aircraft in 1999. The Dornier aircraft is capable of carrying out long range maritime surveillance using state-of-the-art maritime patrol radars," the Indian statement noted.

The Dornier aircraft is domestically built by state-backed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a video address to congratulate Russia's women on International Women's Day in Moscow, Russia - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.03.2024
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