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IAF commandos demonstrate skills at Chabua

By Staff correspondent

DIBRUGARH, Sept 30 � The Indian Air Force at Chabua on Wednesday displayed their fighting skills even as they showcased their aerial rescue, defence and warfare strengths to mediapersons as preparations for the 82nd raising day of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 8.

The Indian Air Force was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire with the Gazette of India notification. The IAF has seven Air Commands in the country � Western Air Command at Delhi, Eastern Air Command at Shillong, Central Air Command at Allahabad, Southern Air Command at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar, formerly at Jodhpur, Training Command at Bangalore and Maintenance Command at Nagpur.

The Air Force Station at Chabua, which is one of the Air bases of the Eastern Air Command, organised the display of IAF power and prowess with Sukhoi (Su-30MKI) fighter aircraft and undertook the Special Heliborne Operations demonstration with the special Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force.

The mediapersons were explained about the capabilities and advantages of Su-30MKI by the pilots of the fighter aircraft like its weapon systems and avionics. Given the unmatched range, weapon-carrying capability and lethality, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) said that these fighters marked quantum jump in capabilities for the IAF in this sector. In the Special Heliborne Operations display, Garud Commandos were dropped from Mi17 helicopters for an assault and capture of a terrorist.

Air Force Station, Chabua, being the easternmost fighter base has served as a major supply point for troops deployed in erstwhile NEFA and present-day Arunachal Pradesh with various transport aircraft and helicopters operating from here. It then took on training role as MiG-21s were based here, training young fighter pilots and providing air defence to the region.

Built in 1939, and used throughout the war by Allied forces in support of the Chinese against invading Japanese forces, Chabua is today the eastern bastion, a frontline base that serves to secure the air space.

In 2009, the MiG-21 era came to an end as the last squadron moved out from Chabua. The base underwent major renovation and expansion of facilities in preparation for the induction of the Su-30MKI multirole fighters which arrived in February 2011 and now patrol the northeastern skies. The Eastern Air Command guards the country�s North East frontiers and undertakes air operations over West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and all the northeastern States. EAC came into existence on May 27, 1958 and was then called the 1st Operations Group.

Air Force Station, Chabua is preparing for its raising day when all the Indian Air Force personnel will renew their vows to rededicate themselves for the nation and to serve its people through an oath ceremony. Parades, cultural activities and other social interventions are planned for the IAF raising day.

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