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March 11, 2024

Historic Moment as Four IAF Units Receive President’s Standards and Colours in Single Ceremony

In a historic ceremony at the IAF station, Hindan, President Droupadi Murmu bestowed the highest military honours, the President’s Standard and Colours, upon four distinguished units of the Indian Air Force (IAF). This marks the first time in the IAF’s illustrious history that four units have been honored simultaneously in a single ceremony.

The prestigious President’s Standard was awarded to No. 45 Squadron and No. 221 Squadron, while the President’s Colours were conferred upon 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) and 509 Signal Unit (SU) of the IAF. President Murmu, in her address, lauded the exemplary services rendered by these units to the nation, emphasizing their courage, commitment, and sacrifices both in times of war and peace.

Highlighting the IAF’s pivotal role in national security, President Murmu acknowledged the IAF’s contributions to India’s space programs, including the ongoing Gaganyaan mission. She also extended her congratulations to the women personnel of the IAF for their significant contributions.

The ceremony witnessed a poignant aerial salute rendered by three Mi-171V helicopters as a mark of respect. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff, along with senior IAF officers, graced the occasion to commemorate this historic milestone.

The President’s Standards were proudly received by Group Captain M Surendran, Commanding Officer of 45 Squadron, and Group Captain Shubhankan, Commanding Officer of 221 Squadron. Meanwhile, Air Commodore Ashutosh Vaidya, Air Officer Commanding of 11 BRD, and Group Captain Vivek Sharma, Commanding Officer of 509 SU, accepted the esteemed President’s Colours on behalf of their units.

The No. 221 Squadron, established in 1963, has a storied legacy, having been decorated with Battle Honours for its outstanding performance during past conflicts. From its inception with Vampire aircraft to its modernization with Sukhoi Su-7 supersonic attack fighters, the squadron has continuously demonstrated its prowess.

Noteworthy among its achievements is its participation in Operation Meghdoot, where it utilized MiG-23BN aircraft for photo reconnaissance missions and armament delivery in high-altitude regions. Similarly, the 509 Signal Unit, established in March 1965, has played a pivotal role as an Air Defence Direction Centre, particularly during critical moments such as the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

Furthermore, the 11 BRD holds a unique position within the IAF as the sole fighter aircraft repair depot. Established in 1974 under Maintenance Command at Ojhar in Nashik, it has been instrumental in maintaining the operational readiness of the IAF’s fighter fleet.

In conclusion, the conferral of the President’s Standards and Colours upon these four distinguished units not only recognizes their past achievements but also serves as a testament to their unwavering dedication and commitment to safeguarding the nation’s interests. It is a moment of pride for the IAF and a fitting tribute to the valor and sacrifice of its personnel.

 

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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