President Pranab Mukherjee today honoured the Indian Air Force’s elite 119 Helicopter Unit, involved in various counter insurgency operations including the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai to flush out terrorists, for its outstanding performance.
Mukherjee also accorded ‘Colours’ to 28 Equipment Depot, the armament store which “provides lethality” to fighter and bomber squadrons of IAF units.
Addressing a function at the crucial and one of the oldest Air Force stations, he said India is firmly committed to peace and equality for which the country needs effective deterrence and a strong defence force.
“The nation is striving hard for all-round economic growth and social empowerment of its citizens. However, we remain equally focused on building capacity to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Our Armed Forces give us confidence in the nation’s ability to face any aggression and safeguard its interests. The Air Warriors, who stand before us today, epitomise the grit and the determination in fulfilling their responsibilities by upholding the highest standards of service ethos,” the President said addressing men and women of the Air Force.
Mukherjee, who is the supreme commander of the defence forces, said the Indian Air Force has been fulfilling its role of protecting the Indian skies and safeguarding the sovereignty of the nation and also provided aid to citizens during natural calamities.
“The massive relief operations undertaken by the Indian Air Force during many natural calamities in the past is all etched in our memories. Such operations are shining examples of the fortitude and determination of its gallant air warriors,” he said.