Captain Abhilasha Barak: Army’s First Woman Combat Pilot

Captain Abhilasha Barak of Haryana at the age of 26 has become the Indian Army’s first woman combat aviator. On 25th May 2022, she successfully completed her Combat Army Aviation Course which was of six months to join the Army Aviation Corps as a helicopter pilot. Captain Barak has been designated to the 2072 Army Aviation Squadron’s second flight which operates the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

When was Captain Barak commissioned into the Army Air Defence Corps?

Captain Abhilasha Barak is the daughter of Colonel (Retired) S Om Singh. In September 2018, she was commissioned into the Indian Army’s Army Air Defence Corps. Before joining the Army Aviation Corps, Captain Barak did several professional military courses. According to the Indian Army, 15 women officers wanted to join the Army Aviation but after the Pilot Aptitude Battery test and Medical were held only two were selected. Till now, women were only given the posts of ground duty and traffic control in the Aviation Department, but Captain Barak will be taking over the responsibility of being the first woman pilot.

What is the Army Aviation Corps and what is its role?

The Army Aviation Corps was established on 1st November 1986 and it is the component of the Indian Army. The corps was inducted immediately into ‘Operation Pawan’ (operation of the Indian Peace Keeping Force to take control of Jaffna from the LTTE) and this played a crucial role in testing the newly formed corps. The Army Aviation Corps carries out the primary operations of evacuating injured troops during operations or during health emergencies from the high-altitude areas. The Aviation Corps are also deployed for reconnaissance, observation, combat search and rescue, casualty evacuation, and dropping essential supplies.

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