Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) is preparing to send two female pilots as members of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission for the first time in its history.
Flight Lieutenant Nayma Haque and Flight Lieutenant Tamanna-E-Lutfi will join the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) press release on Sunday.
In 2014, Nayma and Tamanna made history by becoming the first female combat pilots in the Bangladesh Air Force.
They have now been named among a contingent of 358 BAF members who will replace the current members of the mission in Congo, said the ISPR release.
“The first team consisting of 115 members will leave Dhaka for Congo on Wednesday and the remaining members will be deployed in phases,” the release said.
A C-130 transport aircraft and six MI-17 helicopters with necessary ground support equipment will also be deployed in DR Congo, where around 15,000 UN troops are stationed including 1,700 from Bangladesh.
Briefing the members of contingent at BAF Base Bashar at Dhaka’s Tejgaon on Sunday, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar urged them to discharge their duties with “honesty, professionalism and sincerity” and to “bring honour for the Air Force as well as for the country”.
BAF started its journey to UN Mission by sending peacekeepers to Bosnia Herzegovina in 1993.
So far, 6,430 BAF members completed their UN peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, East Timor, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan and Haiti.