Indian Navy Celebrates Graduation of 102nd Helicopter Conversion Course and Milestone Achievements at INS Rajali

Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, June 8, 2024 — A passing out parade on June 7, 2024, marked the graduation of the 102nd Helicopter Conversion Course (HCC) and the completion of Stage I training of the 4th Basic Helicopter Conversion Course (BHCC) at Naval Air Station – INS Rajali, Arakkonam. The event celebrated the achievements of 21 officers, including three from the 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.

Training and Achievements

The passing out parade marked the culmination of an intensive 22-week training program encompassing rigorous flying and ground training at the Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the alma mater of all helicopter pilots in the Indian Navy. The Helicopter Training School at INS Rajali has a rich heritage spanning over five decades and has trained 849 pilots from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and friendly foreign nations.

Highlighting the Indian Navy’s commitment to gender inclusivity and expanding career opportunities for women, Sub Lieutenant Anamika B Rajeev created history by graduating as the first woman naval helicopter pilot. In another significant milestone, Lieutenant Jamyang Tsewang, the first commissioned naval officer from the Union Territory of Ladakh, also successfully graduated as a qualified helicopter pilot.

Awards and Honors

Several officers were recognized for their outstanding performance during the training:

  • Lt Gurkirat Rajput received the FOCinC, Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy for standing first in order of merit in flying.
  • Lt Nitin Sharan Chaturvedi was awarded the Sub-Lieutenant Kunte Memorial Book Prize for standing first in order of merit in ground subjects.
  • Lt Deepak Gupta received the Governor of Kerala Rolling Trophy for being first in overall order of merit.

Commitment to Excellence

The Helicopter Training School at INS Rajali, currently commanded by Commodore Kapil Mehta, with Commander Archesh heading the school, is renowned for its safe and conducive training environment. Meticulous planning and execution ensure that courses are completed on time, every time. The newly qualified pilots of the 102nd HCC will now be appointed to various frontline operational units of the Indian Navy, where they will undertake diverse missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue, and anti-piracy operations. The officers of the 4th BHCC, having successfully completed Stage I training, will continue to Stage II training at the Helicopter Training School.

The graduation ceremony at INS Rajali not only celebrated the accomplishments of the new helicopter pilots but also underscored the Indian Navy’s ongoing commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. As these newly minted pilots take on their operational roles, they carry forward the legacy of dedication and service that defines the Indian Navy.


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