Sri Lanka inducts first women pilots in air force

Colombo, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- Sri Lanka on Monday inducted two women officers as pilots in its air force, the first such appointment in the country’s history, described as a “moment of utmost pride and patriotism” by the authorities.

“This is very important occasion for us. Even though there are female pilots in the air forces of other countries in the region, this is a first for us,” Air Force spokesperson Dushan Wijesinghe told EFE.

The two new pilots were commissioned as part of the 61st intake of officer cadets at the Air Force Academy in China Bay, situated in Sri Lanka’s eastern province.

In the 69-year long history of the Sri Lanka Air Force, this was the first time that two women were commissioned as pilots, the spokesperson said.

A total of 53 cadets were commissioned as officers of the SLAF in a grand parade.

The event began with the appointment of the two female cadets, who were inducted as pilots of the “general duties” branch as the main highlight of the event, according to an official press release.

“These pilots have to work very hard. They undergo rigorous training and hard work for nearly three years. This is indeed a special day for Sri Lanka,” Wijesinghe said.

In another first for the force, a sword of honor to mark the best performing cadet in both academic and professional studies during training was awarded to a lady officer, who had demonstrated the “best all-round performance throughout the course.”

During the past year, women have been appointed in a series of high-ranking posts on the island, including the appointment of the first-ever woman deputy inspector general of the police in October. EFE-EPA


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