THE Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the South Western Air Command, Air Marshal R K Dhir, visited the Lohegaon Air Force Station on Tuesday and took stock of the security and preparedness of the operational units, including the fighter and missile squadrons.
The Pune Air Force base, which has squadrons of both Sukhoi-30 MKi and Akash surface to air missile, comes under the command of South Western Air Command, headquartered at Gandhinagar.
A press release from the IAF issued through the Defence PRO, stated, “The AOC-in-C inspected various operational installations of the station including fighter and missile squadrons, maintenance facilities, and radar units. He took stock of their battle readiness. He also visited the site of 16 acres IAF land handed over to the Airports Authority of India for expansion of Pune International Airport.”
On arrival, the Air Marshal reviewed the customary ceremonial parade. In his address to the IAF personnel and officers, he appreciated the role played by the station in guarding the western skies of the nation and also briefed them about the future challenges. The Air Marshal also complimented the IAF personnel for the innovations carried out at the base with the thrust on ‘Make in India’ and the efforts taken by them towards ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’.
Air Marshal Dhir was accompanied by his wife Neelam Dhir, President of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA), Regional SWAC. They were received by Air Commodore K V Surendran Nair, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Lohegaon and his wife Priyadarshini Nair, president, AFWWA (local).
Air Force Station, Pune, which is one of the strategically important bases of the Indian Air Force, currently comprises two squadrons of India’s frontline fighter jets Sukhoi 30 MKI — the 20 Squadron, also known as Lightnings, and 30 Squadron, also known as Rhinos.