Chandigarh: October 08, 2008 : 76th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force was celebrated with traditional gaiety & enthusiasm in all Air Force units at Chandigarh with an oath taking ceremony followed by BARA KHANA in Airmen and DSC messes. Chandigarh is a prime base of the Western Air Command and Maintenance Command.
Ten days long celebrations which includes cultural evening Blood donation camp, Tea with civilian employees, Healthy baby show, SNCOs at home in Officers’ Mess and mini marathon of three kms were other major functions organized at 3 base Repair Depot.
This year has been a remarkable year for Air Force Station ,Chandigarh (12 Wing A F). The aircrafts of the station were deployed to provide disaster relief to earthquake victims of China and bomb attack victims at the Indian Embassy in Kabul. This base also accomplished the challenging task of landing an AN-32 aircraft at the world’s highest airfield called Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO). The air warriors of this station also undertook a high altitude trek in Himachal.
This Station is a virtual bridge connecting the arduous mountainous terrains of Leh. Laddakh and other regions of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. When the roads to these regions closed down, the aircrafts of this base are the only lifeline for the army and civilian populace of these regions.
Disaster Relief Mission to China
On 15 May 08, one IL-76 ac of 25 Sqn was tasked for a Humanitarian / Disaster Relief (HA/DR) mission to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) which was reeling from the after effects of a massive earthquake in the Sichuan province in South West China. The crew comprised a total of 16 personnel, under the command of Wg Cdr PAV Ramamurthy. Against the initial plan of one sortie, a total of four sorties were eventually undertaken. A total of 96.2 T of relief material consisting of Tents, Blankets, Food (ready to eat meals), medical supplies and sleeping bags were airlifted in an air effort of 43:30 hrs.
Daredevils at DBO
48 Squadron based at 12 Wing, AF Stn operating versatile AN-32 aircraft, created history on May 31, when its crew carried out the first ever landing by twin-engine aircraft at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), the highest landing strip in the world. The Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), has an unpaved surface (kutcha strip) and is located in the Akshai Chin area at a height of 16,200 feet near the strategic Karakoram pass and lies very close to the line of Actual Control (LAC) with china. DBO is an important Army forward area post, which links the ancient silk route to china. On board the historic flight was Air Marshal PK Barbora PVSM VM, Air officer Commanding-in-Chief WAC. Gp Capt SC Chafekar, CO, 48 Squadron was the captain of the aircraft. Other crew members were Wg Cdr MB Aserkar, Wg Cdr SK Verma, Wg Cdr A Ray and JWO R Verma. The operation was conceptualized and executed in an exemplary manner. The crew operated under the able guidance of Air Cmde SRK Nair VM, AOC, 12 Wing.
Air Force Station, Chandigarh organized a high altitude trek to Himachal which was flagged off by AVM Naresh Verma, SOA HQ WAC, IAF on 26 Jun 08. The team comprised of Wg Cdr K Dinesh, Sqn Ldr Bhavna Mehra, Sqn Ldr AP Singh, Flt Lt Shantanu Verma, Flt Lt Dharmendra Sunda, Flt Lt Christie Varghese and Fg Offr Manoj Rana. The trek was organized with an objective of spreading awareness about the Indian Air Force amongst the populace of far-flung villages of this region alongwith addressing environmental issues like pollution and global warming.
Relief Mission to Kabul
On 07 Jul 08 a massive suicide bomb attack was carried out on the Indian Embassy at Kabul, Afghanistan. This resulted in the death of four personnel at the Embassy including the Defence Attaché, a Brigadier of the Indian Army, and an IFS officer besides death and injuries to scores of others. The IAF was called upon by the Government to provide immediate assistance by way of launching a relief mission. Once tasked, Air Force Station , Chandigarh responded with alacrity and efficiency and launched an IL-76 aircraft to Kabul via Delhi in less than two hours, a record of sorts. The mission was under the command of Wg Cdr HP Kumar. An Army medical team, representatives of MEA, MHA, and ITBP, along with 1000 kgs of medicines were airlifted from Delhi to Kabul, departing from Delhi at 1715 hrs. The flight involved over-flying the Pakistani airspace for which fast track clearances were obtained by concerned agencies.
The aircraft landed at Kabul via Delhi within five hours of its launch from the mother base and returned to Palam around midnight the same day with the casualties. The mission was carried out successfully in the highest traditions of the Sqn and the IAF.
Apart from these , Chandigarh based Air Force Units actively participated in recent flood relief operation in Bihar also.
3 Base Repair Depot is the only Overhauling Agency of helicopters and Aero Engines of Russian origin Transports Aircrafts of Indian Air Force. It supports variety of Fleets of Mi-8, Mi-17 and AN-32 of IAF and IL-38 of Indian Navy. It has also prepared helicopters for UN Missions at Congo and Sudan. The depot has also contributed in preparation of Mi-8 helicopters for Antartica expedition. The Depot has drawn modernization plan to develop its infrastructure and to increase the capacity of in-house production by acquiring new machines / test equipments. The major thrust area is to have self reliance so that spares / component for overhaul of Helicopters and Aeroengines are available in-house. Depot has also been certified with ISO 9001:2000 by Bureau of Indian Standards till 2010.
Social Evening with retired officers is scheduled to be held on 10 Oct at 3 BRD officers Mess to culminate the celebration.