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Passing Out Parade at INS Rajali Celebrates Graduates of 102nd Helicopter Conversion Course

Arakkonam: A grand passing out parade was held at Naval Air Station INS Rajali to mark the graduation of the 102nd Helicopter Conversion Course (HCC) and the completion of Stage I training for the 4th Basic Helicopter Conversion Course (BHCC). The ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of 21 officers, including three officers from the 3rd BHCC, who were awarded the prestigious “Golden Wings” by Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command. Additionally, three officers of the 4th Basic Conversion Course (BCC) successfully completed their Stage I training.

The parade marked the successful culmination of an intensive 22-week training program that encompassed rigorous flying and ground training at Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the alma mater of all helicopter pilots in the Indian Navy.

In a significant milestone for gender inclusivity and career opportunities for women in the Indian Navy, Sub Lieutenant Anamika B Rajeev made history by graduating as the first woman naval helicopter pilot. Additionally, Lt Jamyang Tsewang, the first commissioned naval officer from the Union Territory of Ladakh, also graduated as a qualified helicopter pilot.

During the ceremony, several awards were presented to recognize outstanding achievements. The FOCinC, Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy for the trainee pilot standing first in order of merit in flying was awarded to Lt Gurkirat Rajput. The Sub Lieutenant Kunte Memorial Book Prize for standing first in order of merit in ground subjects was awarded to Lt Nitin Sharan Chaturvedi. The Governor of Kerala Rolling Trophy for first in overall order of merit was awarded to Lt Deepak Gupta.

The Helicopter Training School, located at INS Rajali, has a rich heritage spanning more than five decades, having trained 849 pilots from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and friendly foreign nations. The school, currently commanded by Commander Archesh, under the overall command of Commodore Kapil Mehta, provides a safe and conducive training environment, ensuring meticulous planning and execution to complete courses on time.

The newly qualified pilots of the 102nd HCC will be appointed to various front-line operational units of the Indian Navy, where they will take on diverse missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue, and anti-piracy. The officers of the 4th BHCC, having successfully completed Stage I training, will continue to Stage II training at the Helicopter Training School.

The ceremony underscored the Indian Navy’s commitment to excellence in training and its ongoing efforts to expand career opportunities for women and officers from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a robust and inclusive future force.

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