The Honourable President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind awarded the President’s Standard to 51 Squadron and President’s Colours to 230 Signal Unit of the Indian Air Force. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces bestowed the honour in a ceremonial parade at Air Force Station Halwara on 22 March 2018 in acknowledgement of their meritorious service.
The President’s Standard was received by Group Captain Satish S Pawar, Commanding Officer of 51 Squadron, and the President’s Colours were received by Group Captain SK Tripathi, Station Commander of 230 Signal Unit. On this occasion, the President also released the first day cover of both the units.
What are President’ Standard and Colours?
The President’s Standard and Colours are the highest honour bestowed on units of the armed forces in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the security of the nation during peace and hostilities.
Apart from being the highest possible recognition to a unit coming from the Supreme Commander, they commemorate the hard work and contribution by the personnel of the unit, past and present, to keep the unit flag flying high.
The motivation that they provide to the younger generation in keeping the high standards set by their predecessors ensures that the IAF’s ethos of professionalism and service to the nation remain prime and unremitting.
The President conveyed his happiness in bestowing the esteemed honour to these Air Force units. In his address, he recalled the glorious legacy of the Indian Armed Forces in protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.
The President was presented the Rashtriya Salute at the commencement of an impressive parade. The parade was followed by a mesmerizing performance by the Air Force Air Warriors Drill Team. The Air Warrior Drill Team is the first of its kind amongst all military and Para Military Forces in India, with their unique synchronized drill movements with rifles carrying live bayonets.
Thereafter, the fighter might of the Indian Air Force was displayed in a scintillating aerial display, with enthralling formation aerobatics by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team and a heart-stopping low-level aerobatics display by Sukhoi-30 fighter jet.
This is the second occasion when Shri Ram Nath Kovind has bestowed the President’s Standard at an Air Force Station in Punjab. Earlier he had presented the Standards at Air Force Station Adampur in Nov 2017.
The event was attended by a resplendent gathering comprising of various civil and military dignitaries. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Punjab Governor Shri. VP Singh Badnore, Minister in Waiting Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC and Air Marshal C Harikumar PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM, ADC Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command.
The President’s Words:
President noted that the Indian Air Force symbolises our military excellence. The performance of its personnel in international exercises, both at home and abroad, is a glowing testimony to its high standards of training and preparedness.
He also said that the Air Force, besides safeguarding our sovereign skies, has always been at the forefront of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The resilience, tenacity and zeal of our valiant Air Warriors is a source of pride for every Indian.
51 Sqn and 230 SU:
The 51 Squadron or “Sword Arms” formed on February 1, 1985, in Chandigarh, was equipped with MiG-21 Type-75 aircraft. The squadron has enhanced its sterling reputation in the past 33 years, be it while flying the MiG-21 Type-75 aircraft of yester-years or the state-of-the-art MiG-21 Bison aircraft of today.
The 230 Signal Unit, known as “Vigilants”, was initially formed in Chandigarh on April 4, 1964. They have always answered to the call of duty.