Sunday, March 17, 2013

(HERALD ZW) 2 females complete para-troopers’ course

2 females complete para-troopers’ course
Saturday, 16 March 2013 00:00
Lewis Tembo Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe’s first two female para-troopers who completed their Parachute Jumping Instructor’s and Dispatcher’s course yesterday graduated in Harare along with 22 other members of their squad.

The Parachute Jumping Instructor’s and Dispatcher’s Course 1 of 2012 comprised 18 parachute jumping instructors and six dispatchers.

Aircraftmen Sergeant Tendai Nashe-Kavande (24) and Sergeant Tracey Munodawafa (22) became the first women para-troopers after they were conferred with Air Force wings and certificates to mark the occasion.

Chief of Staff Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba, Acting Brigadier General Colonel Charles Mazaiwana, Base Commander Manyame Air Base Group Captain Peter Zimondi and managing director of Liquid Telecoms Mr Wellington Makamure witnessed the graduation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Maj-Gen Nyikayaramba said the graduation was an historic occasion as it was the first course with the highest intake and the first to train female officers.

“The Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) has over the years championed the implementation of gender equality policies espoused by the Government.
“I am particularly pleased to note that the women in the AFZ have seized opportunities availed to them as today we have two female members who have defied all odds and made history by becoming the first female jumping instructors,” he said.
He said the pair had opened avenues for other women to follow by setting a positive standard.

Maj-Gen Nyikayaramba said the Parachute Training School was the only school to conduct parachute training for all Zimbabwe Defence Forces officers and members.
He said the high number of instructors would allow the school to run more training courses in readiness for military and humanitarian assistance operations where parachute jumping skills were required.

“Parachute jumping is a skill that requires courage, discipline and training of the highest standards.
“Of the 33 students who enrolled, only 18 students managed to complete the training and eight others failed to attain the high standards demanded by the course,” he said.
Maj-Gen Nyikayaramba commended the graduates for their perseverance after they lost a senior parachute jumping instructor and a student in a training accident that resulted from their parachutes failing to open.

He commended Liquid Telecom for partnering AFZ and donating parachutes and support equipment among other things. Aircraftmen Sgts Nashe and Munodawafa said they had faced many challenges during the course of their training.

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