By Arré Bench Sep. 21, 2020
Sub Lieutenants Kumudini Tyagi and Riti Singh have made history by becoming the first women officers in the Indian Navy to be deployed on a warship as crew members. Although women officers have been posted as a part of the logistics and medical teams on Navy fleet tankers, they have not served aboard warships for long durations.
Indian women continue to conquer new frontiers. In a move that will increase opportunities for female officers in the Indian Navy, Sub Lt Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lt Riti Singh have become the first women officers deployed on a frontline Indian Navy warship as crew members.
In a first, 2 women officers to operate helicopters from Indian Navy warshipshttps://t.co/koddckwczj
— Hindustan Times (@HindustanTimes) September 21, 2020
Although women officers have been posted as a part of the logistics and medical teams on Navy fleet tankers, they have not served aboard warships for long durations. Amongst the many reasons cited, lack of privacy in crew quarters and gender-specific bathroom facilities top the list.
However, with this decision, the Indian Navy is now shifting the operational duties of women officers hereon. The two naval officers will operate as “Observers”, airborne tacticians in the helicopter stream. The young officers will train to operate a host of sensors onboard navy multi-role helicopters. Their training as airborne combatants will see them working with sonar consoles and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads.
HUGE news from the @indiannavy – Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh … who are training as MISSION OBSERVERS – will be the first women officers in the Indian Navy to be embarked on Navy warships as part of ship's crew.
— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) September 21, 2020
As Observers, the officers will work to assess the enemy threat in the event of combat. They will determine the target under such circumstances and aid the pilots of the choppers with the same.
Two women officers Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh selected to join as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians) in helicopter stream of #IndianNavy.
They would in effect, be the first set of women airborne combatants who would be operating from warships. pic.twitter.com/ZAGKg0RxB3
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) September 21, 2020
It is also being expected that the two officers will fly on the navy’s advanced multi-role helicopters – MH-60R, which is designed to detect enemy ships and submarines and can be engaged using missiles and torpedoes during combat.
Hope this paves way for more Indian women onboard naval and commercial ships. Indians constitute about 10% of global seafarers out of which 1% are women(95% of which work on cruise ships).Hope to see Indian women commanding aircraft carriers,VLCCs etc,one day!
— Atul Kumar Singh (@atlsingh8) September 21, 2020
A fourth-generation armed forces officer, Sub Lt Singh points out that within the Indian Navy barriers are being broken on the daily. As opportunities arise, she states that “Whatever roles the Indian Navy gives us, we will gladly take them.” Talking about the huge responsibility they have been tasked with, both the officers having completed their 60 hours of training. Sub Lt Tyagi adds, “”We’ve been treated equally… Whatever training our male counterparts received, we went through the same training… We are looking forward to it.”
History repeats itself. pic.twitter.com/C7H6cpYgwT
— Rajeshwari Kori (@RajeshwariKori) September 21, 2020
Singh’s and Tyagi’s milestone achievement is yet another feather in the cap for women in uniform.