Meet Avani Chaturvedi, the first IAF woman pilot to be part of joint air exercise with Japan
In a remarkable leap towards achieving inclusivity and gender-equality in the country, and in a first, Indian Air Force fighter pilot Avani Chaturvedi is all set to lead the joint air combat exercise with Japan.
Basically a part of aerial wargames abroad, Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi will be representing India in the inaugural air exercise 'Veer Guardian 2023'. She is also one of the first three women fighter pilots inducted into IAF in 2016 after the institution, in a monumental shift, allowed women in the fighter stream.
About IAF's first lady fighter pilot
Hailing from Madhya Pradesh's Rewa, 29-year-old Avani Chaturvedi was commissioned into the Indian Air Force seven years ago after undergoing six months of rigorous training at the Air Force Academy in Telangana's Dundigal. In 2018, she assumed the title of the first Indian woman pilot to fly solo in MiG-21 aircraft. It was in the same year that she was promoted to Flight Lieutenant's rank.
Along with her two cohorts, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh Jitarwal, the three women were declared as the first IAF fighter pilots ever.
Chaturvedi, who is trained in Sukhoi-30MKI and MiG-21 Bison jets, had earlier said, "Any air force is defined by its fighters. My dream is to become a good fighter pilot, on whom my seniors can rely when it comes to flying live operations. I want to fly the best fighter aircraft and learn more and more each day."
Today, Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi will become first IAF lady fighter pilot to take part in such an aerial exercise in a foreign country, continuing to inspire millions of women.
About Veer Guardian 2023
In order to bolster bilateral ties and air defence cooperation between the two countries, these aforementioned wargames will be carried out this January 12-26 at Japan's Hyakuri Air Base, the surrounding airspace in Omitama, and the Iruma Air Base in Sayama.
"IAF will participate with four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 Globemasters and an IL-78 tanker," IAF took to Twitter to announce. This maiden exercise, engulfing numerous aerial combat drills, aims at strengthening strategic ties between India and Japan.