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Friday, September 17, 2021

Naval Aviation awarded President’s Colour in Goa

The President’s Colour is the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation

By: Express News Service | Dabolim |
Updated: September 6, 2021 8:43:37 pm
President Ram Nath Kovind presents the President’s Colour to the Indian Naval Aviation at INS Hansa in Goa

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday awarded the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation at INS Hansa in Goa. The President’s Colour is bestowed on a military unit, in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the nation, both in peace and during war.

Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Ports Shipping and Waterways Shripad Yesso Naik, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Westen Naval Command Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, and Flag Officer Naval Aviation Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil, were among those who attended the event along with several Navy veterans.

Speaking at the event, the President said: “I am told that the Indian Navy has actively taken up indigenisation. This is well reflected in the Navy’s current and future acquisition plans, which are powered by indigenisation. In pursuance of the Government of India’s vision of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Indian Naval Aviation has also made steady progress in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ drive”, the President said. He said that the recent inductions of Advanced Light Helicopters and Dornier and Chetak aircraft manufactured indigenously by Hindustan Auronautics Limited “highlights our march towards ‘Atma-nirbharta’ in defence sector.”

While a parade was to be held at INS Hansa, the Navy had to switch over to its Plan B as the award ceremony had to be moved under a covered hangar as heavy rain lashed many parts of Goa on Monday. A ceremonial parade with a 150-man guard of honour was presented to the President during the event. A flypast was also held as a part of the event.

The special day cover was released by the President and the Chief Post Master General, Maharashtra and Goa and “Fly Navy, Fly”, a book depicting the transformation of Indian Naval Aviation was also released at the event.

The special day cover was released by the President and the Chief Post Master General, Maharashtra and Goa and “Fly Navy, Fly”, a book depicting the transformation of Indian Naval Aviation was also released at the event.

The President also said, “Naval Aviation has contributed through numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, during which it has provided relief to fellow citizens. Like the recently conducted rescue operations off Mumbai during cyclone Tauktae in May 2021. It has also provided crucial assistance to several neighbouring countries and nations in the Indian Ocean Region.”

The Indian Navy was the first Indian armed force, to receive the President’s Colour, from Dr Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India in 1951. The Navy’s aviation 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.

The President also said: ““I have been given to understand that of the about 150 air traffic control officers in Naval Aviation, about 84, that is more than 50 per cent, are women and out of the strength of 400 observers, 75 are women. I am told that women pilots have also been inducted in the Naval Aviation. This is a healthy trend and must be encouraged,” he added.

The Navy’s aviation 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),” the Navy said in a statement on Monday.

“Aviation is a challenging calling which mandates zero error and does not give second chances. The award of the President’s Colour is a fitting recognition of the professionalism, perseverance, and resilience of countless personnel, who have given their best over the years and have always risen to the occasion against all odds,” Pynumootil said.

President Kovind also recalled the contribution of INS Vikrant with its integral aircraft, which played a crucial role in liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. He said Naval Aviation has come of age with the perseverance of the national leadership.

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