INDIA. Mumbai: President of India and the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces Ram Nath Kovind presented the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation at INS Hansa, located near Dabolim in Goa on Monday. To mark the momentous occasion, a ceremonial parade with a 150-men Guard of Honour was presented to the President.
Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai, Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Naval Aviation Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil and other civil and military dignitaries attended the ceremony.
The President’s Colour is bestowed on a military unit, in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the Nation, both in peace and in war. Naval Aviation has distinguished itself with notable and gallant service to the Nation over the past seven decades. The Indian Navy was the first Indian Armed Force, to receive the President’s Colour, from Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India on May 27, 1951. Subsequent recipients of the President’s Colour in the Navy included Southern Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Western Naval Command, Eastern Fleet, Western Fleet, Submarine Arm, INS Shivaji, and the Indian Naval Academy, Kannur, Kerala.
Award of the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation is in recognition of the yeoman service rendered by it both during peace and combat. The Naval arm came into being with the acquisition of the first Sealand aircraft on January 13, 1951, and commissioning of INS Garuda, at Kochi on May 11, 1953. Today, Naval Aviation boasts of nine Air Stations and three Naval Air Enclaves, along the Indian coastline and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Over the past seven decades, it has transformed into a modern, technologically advanced, and highly potent force, with more than 250 aircraft comprising Fighters, Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, Helicopters, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Today, Naval Aviation assets are capable of undertaking missions along with the entire gamut of military operations. Naval Aviation is a vital component of the main roles of the Indian Navy – Military, Diplomatic, Constabulary, and Benign.
Speaking on the occasion, the President recalled the glorious contribution of INS Vikrant with its integral aircraft, which played a crucial role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. The President added that Naval aircrafts are also at the forefront of numerous peacetime as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, providing relief not only to our countrymen but also to friendly foreign nations. The President lauded the indigenization efforts of the Indian Navy in keeping with the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) vision of the Government. The President also made a mention of the significant progress made in aviation technology, facilitation of state-of-the-art indigenous weapons, sensors, and data suites for Naval aircraft.
The President congratulated the officers and sailors on the momentous occasion and added that Naval Aviation has come of age with the perseverance of the National Leadership. He also congratulated all veterans and serving Naval Aviators, for their selfless service to the Nation.
A motorcycle expedition flagged off
In another development, a motorcycle expedition from Karwar to New Delhi titled” Swarnim Vijay Abhiyaan” was flagged off from INS Vikramaditya by Rear Admiral DK Goswami, Admiral Superintendent of Naval Ship Repair Yard, Karwar (In Karnataka) on Monday.
The expedition which is part of “Swarnim Vijay Varsh” (golden jubilee of India’s victory in 1971 war with Pakistan) and” Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” (75th year of Indian independence), coincided with the presentation of President’s Colour to Naval Aviation. The expedition team will reach New Delhi on October 03 since it will visit different establishments during its journey.
Over 50 naval personnel are taking part in various legs of the expedition on 11 bikes and two support vehicles. The ride will cover a distance of 6000 km from Karwar to New Delhi while visiting various launch pads of 1971 campaigns on the western front. During the ride, the expedition team will interact with cadets and staff at National Defence Academy, Lonawala (Maharashtra), Sainik School at Satara (Maharashtra), Balachadi (Jamnagar, Gujarat), Kapurthala (Punjab), and Kunjpura (Haryana) and Rashtriya Military School, Chail (Himachal Pradesh). The team will visit naval units at Lonawala, and Porbandar and Jamnagar (Gujarat) in addition to various establishments of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.