July 01, 2013: Women have nothing to prove in flight operations, and have always been supremely on par with their male counterparts, receiving as they do the same training and facilities. But the Indian Coast Guard has crossed a milestone of sorts with its first ever operational sortie with an all-women flying crew. On June 19, a Coast Guard Dornier Do228 took off from Daman, piloted by Asst Comdt Neetu Singh Bartwal (Captain of the aircraft), Asst Comdt Neha Murudkar (pilot in command) and Asst Comdt Shristi Singh (Co-pilot).
In a statement, the Coast Guard said, "This achievement was possible with passing out of 1 (observers) course comprising of three women officers who had undergone long-drawn training in various Naval and Coast Guard establishments for qualifying as an airborne tactician. These women officers had toiled long hours gaining proficiency in handling Dornier aircraft and sensors, for safeguarding the maritime borders of India."