Cassian Baliarsingh

Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has scripted history by becoming the first IAF woman officer to command the frontline combat unit. The lady officer will command the combat unit of the Western Sector.

Group Captain Shaliza achieved this on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8. The news was shared by A. Bharat Bhushan Babu, Principal Spokesperson, Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote, “Commissioned as a helicopter pilot in 2003, Gp Capt Shaliza Dhami is selected by IAF to take over command of a frontline combat unit in the Western Sector. With over 2800 hrs of flying experience, the Officer is commended by AOC-in-C on two occasions.”

In 2019, she was the first woman officer who was promoted to the post of flight commander of the flying unit. Not only this, she was the first flight commander of IAF in 2016.

With over 15 years of experience in the Air Force, Dhami is a daring woman officer with several other achievements to her credit.

Born to government-serving parents in Ludhiana, Punjab, Captain Shaliza Dhami dreamt of becoming a pilot from Class 9 and did her first solo flight in 2003. She was the first woman to do so.

Dhami got a short service commission in IAF on December 20, 2003 and was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant in 2005, and became Squadron Leader in 2009.