INDIA. Mumbai: Bangladesh Naval Ship (BNS) Somudra Avijan arrived in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) on a five-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) on Sunday to participate in an ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of India’s victory (Swarnim Vijay Varsh) in 1971 Indo-Pak war.
This visit by the Bangladesh Navy is also to commemorate together the birth centenary of “father of Bangladesh Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The 1971 Indo-Pak war, had led to the liberation of Bangladesh.
On arrival on Sunday, the officers and crew of BNS Somudra Avijan were accorded a traditional welcome by the representatives of the ENC and the Eastern Fleet, with the navy band in attendance, an official statement said.
A series of activities are scheduled between the two navies including professional interactions, cross deck visits, visit to INS Vishwakarma and INS Dega. In addition, screening of the special documentary on the Bangladesh Navy and interaction with 1971 war veterans would be the major highlights of the visit.
At the apex level, visiting delegation from High Commission of Bangladesh, New Delhi, led by High Commissioner of Bangladesh Muhammad Imran, accompanied by Resident Defence Attache Bangladesh and the Commanding Officer of BNS Somudra Avijan, would interact with Vice Admiral AB Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC and Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet during the official calls.
Changes in top echelons in IAF
In another development, the change of the guard took place in the South Western and Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force on Sunday. Air Marshal Vikram Singh took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command (SWAC), from Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
On arrival, Air Marshal Vikram Singh placed a wreath at the War Memorial and was presented with a Guard of Honour at HQ SWAC, Gandhinagar.
The Air Marshal graduated from Christ College Bangalore in May 1983, was commissioned in the fighter stream on December 21, 1984. He has a rich and diverse experience in operational and experimental test flying on various aircraft prominent among them being MiG-21 and Mirage-2000.
He has undergone the Flying Instructor’s course, Experimental Flight Test Course, and is a graduate of the Staff Course from Pretoria, South Africa. He has performed Flight Test duties at various test centres including that at the National Flight Test Centre. He has also commanded an Air Force Station in the western front. The Air Marshal has served in various staff appointments at Air Headquarters and has been the Air Attaché at Moscow, Russia.
He has also served at the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters and was Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) at Air Headquarters. He was Senior Air Staff Officer,
Western Air Command before taking over the present appointment. For his distinguished service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal.
Similarly, Air Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik assumed charge as Air Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force on Sunday.
The Air Marshal was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force on June 08, 1984. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College, and College of Air Warfare. A fighter combat leader, he has more than 2500 hours of accident-free fighter flying on various types of aircraft.
He has tenanted several important appointments including command of a frontline fighter base, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence), and Commandant, College of Air Warfare. Before assuming Command of Eastern Air Command, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarter, Central Air Command (Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh).
The Air Officer flew many live bombing missions during the Kargil conflict for which he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).For his distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal in January 2020.