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First woman officer assumes command of an Indian Navy ship

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New Delhi. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, said on Friday that the Navy has appointed its first woman commanding officer on a naval ship.

Addressing a press conference ahead of Navy Day, Admiral Kumar said the implementation of the Agnipath scheme has been a much-needed, transformational change.

“Our first batch of Agniveers graduated from the premier-winning establishment, INS Chilka, in March this year. And importantly, this batch of Agniveers includes 272 female Agniveer trainees as well.

“Going further, the second batch of Agniveers had a total of 454 women and I want to say that with the third batch, which has just been inducted, we have now crossed over 1,000 women affiliates in the Navy,” he added.

The Chief of Naval Staff asserted that these statistics stand testament to the Navy’s philosophy of all roles and all ranks with regard to the deployment of women in the service, both for officers and for personnel below the rank of officer.

“We also appointed the first woman commanding officer of an Indian naval ship. It has been our effort to constantly challenge the status quo to ensure that the navy remains on an aspirational and dynamic trajectory in the future,” he said.

The Navy chief further said, “Indian units are mission-deployed across the Indian Ocean region and beyond, to protect and promote the national interest, so these extensive deployments, coupled with the equally large number of exercises at sea, have really helped the Indian Navy and, as a result, the Indian Navy has remained a combat-ready, credible, cohesive, and future-proof force, enabled by what we call our ship’s first outlook, where every single action that we take is aimed to enable our women and men in the operational units to perform that duty very well.”

The admiral said, “Our ships have been persistently present across the Indo-Pacific region. Submarines have undertaken operational turnarounds at foreign ports in Oman, Australia, and Indonesia.”


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