Woman leads IAF contingent for first time in R-Day

History was made on Thursday when Flight Lt. Sneha Shekhawat, a woman Indian Air Force (IAF) officer, led a contingent of 144 airmen at the 63rd Republic Day parade down the Rajpath.

A woman pilot who flies non-combat transport planes like the Avro, Shekhawat was joined by three other women officers to lead the marching contingent down the national capital's main thoroughfare.

This is the first time a woman officer led the IAF contingent at the Republic Day parade.

The other women officers are Flying Officer A. Chaudhary, who flies helicopters such as Chetak and Cheetah and Flying Officer Pooja Negi and Flying Officer Hena Pore, both from the accounts branch.

Shekhawat, from Sikar in Rajasthan, is at present posted with the IAF squadron at Hindon in Ghaziabad, told IANS ahead of the parade that it was a matter of pride and honour to lead the IAF contingent.

This is in line with the IAF policy of providing greater opportunities for women in the force, IAF officers said.

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