Historic All-Women Naval Surveillance Mission by Andaman & Nicobar Command

Image showing the historic moment of the Andaman & Nicobar Command conducting its first all-women maritime surveillance mission
Historic All-Women Naval Surveillance Mission by Andaman & Nicobar Command [Source: Northeast Herald]

On March 8, 2024, coinciding with International Women’s Day and the 40th anniversary of INAS 318, the Andaman & Nicobar Command embarked on its inaugural all-women maritime surveillance mission, marking a historic moment in the annals of the armed forces. This event symbolizes the command’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity and gender equality within its ranks.

The resounding success of this mission serves as compelling evidence of women's capability to undertake independent operational duties, thereby underscoring their indispensable role in the nation’s defense and security apparatus. It stands as a testament to the competence, dedication, and professionalism exhibited by women in uniform, reaffirming their pivotal contribution to safeguarding the nation's interests.

The crew entrusted with this groundbreaking endeavor, stationed at INS Utkrosh, comprised three distinguished women officers:

  • Lieutenant Commander Shubhangi Swaroop
  • Lieutenant Commander Divya Sharma
  • Lieutenant Vaishali Mishra

These officers showcased their expertise across various critical functions within the Naval Air Arm, including pre-flight briefing, meteorological assessment, medical evaluations, and air traffic control (ATC) coordination, demonstrating their proficiency and ensuring the mission’s seamless execution.

The successful culmination of this all-women maritime surveillance mission underscores the Andaman & Nicobar Command’s steadfast commitment to fostering equal opportunities and gender neutrality within its operational framework. It exemplifies the command's acknowledgment of the invaluable contributions made by women in upholding the nation's defense and security imperatives.

INAS 318, the esteemed Naval Air squadron within the Andaman & Nicobar Command, has a storied history dating back to its commissioning on March 8, 1984. Initially equipped with Islander aircraft, the squadron transitioned to Dornier aircraft in 1999, equipped with cutting-edge Maritime Patrol Radars, thereby enhancing its long-range maritime surveillance capabilities.

This landmark achievement not only celebrates the prowess of women in the military domain but also reinforces the imperative of gender inclusivity and recognition of women's indispensable roles in safeguarding national interests and security.

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