TEZPUR, Nov 14 � Claiming Indian defense is capable of facing every challenge including national and international threat, RK Jolly, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Air Command said that Indian Air Force had a glorious past in the record of serving the nation.
�Along with the combating national and international threat Indian Air force has done a lot in fighting against various insurgencies across the country during the past many a decades.� He said adding the Indian Air Force an air arm of the Indian armed forces with it�s primary responsibility to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India had achieved independence in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950. Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People�s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay �the annexation of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The air officer who came to the Tezpur Air Force station for attending the curtain riser function of President�s Standard Award giving programme scheduled to be held on November 21 at the Air Station based here at Salonibari highlighting the prestigious occasion on the day further said that the President of India who is the supreme commander of Indian armed forces will present the prestigious President�s award to 115 Helicopter Unit (HU) and 26 Squadron in a grand ceremonial parade.
Wing Commander AP Deshpande, commanding officer of 115 Helicopter Unit and Wg Cdr S Prabhu, commanding officer of 26 Squadron will receive the prestigious award. Governor of Assam and senior civilian and military dignitaries including Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal, SS Soman, Air Officer Commanding in chief, western Air Command, Air marshal HB Rajaram among others will grace the mega event.
RK Jolly further outlined and added that the 115 Helicopter Unit was raised on April 1, 1967 which is endowed with a history and a formidable operational legacy along with incessantly working to provide relief and succor to flood ravaged areas, cyclone relief operations in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in May 1979 and super cyclone in 1999 while the 26 Squadron was formed on January 1, 1968 at Adampur. It was the first squadron in the IAF to be equipped with the indomitable SU-7 aircraft. The Warriors� played a very active role in the 1971, the Squadron was re-equipped with MiG 21 BIS aircraft and moved to Pathankot. The Squadron actively participated in the Kargil conflict of 1999 and was also involved in guarding the northern skies during the long period of activation as part of Operation Parakram.
However, while replying to the queries regarding fundamentalist forces� threat in the region he said that till date the Indian Air Force has done many a successful job in tackling the insurgencies like Naxalites and Maoists and even during the Operation Rhino in Assam and if the agencies concerned like Assam police seeks any help to root out jehadi elements from the soil of Assam then the IAF is ready to extend their helping hand. On the other he said that earlier the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Mechuka, Along and Zero which were in a deplorable condition are given a new facelift and another such four ALGs are coming up in Tuting, Pachighat, Tawang and Walong in Arunachal Pradesh which is very close to the international border areas and are operative condition in the area.