Who is Group Captain Shaliza Dhami?

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has made history as the first woman officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be appointed as the leader of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector. She will be in charge of a missile squadron, marking a significant milestone in the IAF’s history. This achievement comes after the Indian Army recently began assigning women officers to command roles outside the medical stream, with approximately 50 women expected to lead units in operational areas.

About Group Captain Shaliza Dhami

Group Captain Dhami has extensive experience as a helicopter pilot and a flight commander in the Western sector, having received commendations from the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief on two occasions. Her position as a Group Captain is equivalent to a Colonel in the Indian Army. She has over 2,800 hours of flying experience. She is also the 1st woman officer to be a qualified flight instructor in the IAF.

What is the ranking of a group captain?

The ranking of group captain in the Indian Air Force is an imprint of British colonialism. It was in practice in the British Royal Air Force and we adopted it after independence. The group captain is the senior commissioned rank officer. The NATO rank code of group officer is OF-5. This means, he or she ranks above the wing commander and below the air commander. The rank of the group captain is almost similar to the rank of the Navy captain.

What are the roles and responsibilities of group captains?

The group captains are appointed to lead the helicopter units and the command squadron of the Indian Air Force. They also serve as the chief operating officers in air force stations. The air advisors and the air attaches sitting in the embassies and high commissions are mostly of the rank of group officers.



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