The Indian Air Force (IAF) has always been at the forefront of defending the nation’s airspace and sovereignty, and the recent appointment of Group Captain Shaliza Dhami as the first woman Commanding Officer of an IAF missile squadron in the border areas of Punjab is a significant milestone in the history of the Indian military.
Group Captain Shaliza Dhami, the first woman Commanding Officer of an Indian Air Force (IAF) missile squadron in the border areas of Punjab, has had an illustrious career in the IAF. Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, Dhami holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics and Communication.
Dhami’s journey in the IAF began in 2003 when she was commissioned as a flying officer on a short-service commission. Her first solo flight was in 2003 in a HAL HPT-32 Deepak. She was promoted to flight lieutenant on 20 December 2005 and to squadron leader on 20 December 2009.
In December 2016, Dhami was promoted to wing commander, and in August 2019, she became the first woman officer in India to be appointed as a Flight Commander. She holds the position of a flight commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindan Air Force Station. Dhami has also made history by becoming the first woman flying instructor of the IAF for Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. This makes her the first woman flying instructor in the IAF.
On 18 December 2018, Dhami made history again by becoming the first woman officer in the Indian Air Force to be granted a permanent commission.
This was a landmark decision by the Indian government to allow women to hold permanent commissions in all branches of the armed forces. Before this, women could only be inducted into the armed forces on a short-service commission.
Dhami’s journey in the IAF is a testament to her dedication and hard work. Her achievements in the IAF have not only broken barriers but also set an example for other women to follow. Her appointment as the first woman Commanding Officer of an IAF missile squadron in the border areas of Punjab is a significant milestone in the history of the Indian armed forces and a positive step towards gender equality and representation in the military.
Dhami’s appointment will inspire other women to join the military and serve their country with pride. It is a proud moment for the nation and the Indian armed forces, and we wish Group Captain Shaliza Dhami all the very best in her new role.