After successfully completing the six-month-long Combat Army Aviation Course, Captain Abhilasha Barak has become the first woman officer to join the Army Aviation Corps as a combat aviator.
She has been awarded the coveted wings along with 36 Army pilots today by Director General and Colonel Commandant Army Aviation Lt. Gen. A. K. Suri during a valedictory ceremony held at Combat Army Aviation Training School, Nashik.
Capt. Barak hails from Haryana and was commissioned into the Army Air Defence Corps in September 2018. She is the daughter of Col. S. Om Singh (Retd). Officials stated that Captain Abhilasha has done several professional military courses before joining the Army Aviation Corps.
Army Aviation Corps, the youngest Corps of the Army, was formed on November 01, 1986. Over the years has expanded with the addition of new units and equipment like Cheetah, Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, weaponised ALH Rudra and Light Combat Helicopter.
Cpatain Abhilasha said, “While growing up in military cantonments and being surrounded by people in uniform, it always seemed like an ordinary affair. I never realised it until our family moved out of the military life, after my father’s retirement in 2011. And the feeling only grew stronger after seeing my elder brother’s passing out parade at IMA in 2013. That was the moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
After completing my training from OTA, Chennai in 2018, I opted for Army Aviation Corps. As I was filling out the form, I knew I was eligible for only the ground duty role, but I mentioned that I was PABT and CPSS qualified. Somewhere in my heart, I always knew that the day was not far away when the Indian Army would start inducting women as combat pilots.
After two years, when the induction of women as pilots was announced, it all came full circle. Not many people know this, but in 1987, during Op Meghdoot, my father was leading a patrolling party from Amar Post to Bana Top Post (earlier Quaid Post). Owing to bad weather, he suffered from Cerebral Odema and was brought back to Amar Post, from where he was evacuated right in time. He owes his life to the Army Aviation Corps and hence, so do I.”
Capt Abhilasha Barak is an alumnus of The Lawrence School Sanawar, which is the oldest co-educational boarding school in Asia. She completed her graduation in B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Delhi Technological University in 2016 and was placed at Deloitte, USI.
In 2018, she was commissioned into the Indian Army from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. During her training she was awarded merit cards in Horse Riding and Judo.
During her attachment with Corps of Army Air Defence, she was selected as a Contingent Commander for Presentation of Colours to AAD by President Ram Nath Kovind.
She attained ‘A’ grading in AAD YOs course, 75.70% in Air Traffic Management and Air Laws course and passed the promotional exam, Part B in her first attempt.