Flying Officer Tejaswi Ranga Rao is the first woman weapons systems officer in the Sukhoi-30 fleet, frontline air-dominance fighter aircraft, which is considered as the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter jets. A weapon systems officer, also referred as ‘wizzo’ in the Air Force, is a flight officer responsible for all air operations and weapon systems of a military aircraft. A wizzo maintains the aircraft’s system riding behind the pilot. With the appointment of Rao, India joins the list of other countries like the UK and the US, to have women wizzos in the Air Force.
After finishing schooling in Chennai, Rao’s family moved to Bangalore, where she pursued BSc in Biotechnology, Chemistry and Genetics. During her BSc stint, Rao enrolled in the National Cadet Corps (NCC), which was the major reason for her to apply for the forces. Being a part of the NCC opened up the avenue of opportunities, and took Rao a step closer in achieving her goals.