New Delhi, Sept 25 (IBNS) SU-30 MKI aircraft was inducted into Western Air Command in a formal ceremony at Air Force Station Halwara on Tuesday.
Air Marshal Arup Raha AVSM VM AOC-in-C Western Air Command IAF (Indian Air Force) was the chief guest for the induction ceremony.
He was accompanied by Lily Raha, President of Air Force Wives Welfare Association [AFWWA] (Regional).
While the first batch of SU-30 MKI was inducted into IAF in Sept 2002, the 220 Squadron at Halwara known as 'Desert Tigers', which flew the MiG-23 aircraft till 2005 is now resurrected with the latest SU-30 MKI Squadron in Western Air Command.
The SU-30 MKI is a frontline all-weather air-dominance fighter with multi-role capability, which can undertake varied air combat and ground attack missions.
Air Force Station Halwara witnessed a well-coordinated ceremony on this occasion. Guests from Western Air Command graced the event.
The chief guest was received by Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Halwara, Air Commodore RGK Kapoor VM.
An impressive parade contingent presented a general salute to the AOC-in-C. Later the Commanding Officer of the Squadron, Wing Commander Sharad Aneja took permission from the Air Marshal to get airborne in a SU-30 MKI aircraft.
The ceremony included an impressive flypast by the SU-30 s of 220 Squadron.
The pilots of the Squadron executed the characteristic 'Trishul' formation in a spectacular manner signifying their formal induction into the premier Air Command of the IAF.
The Air Force personnel and their families witnessed the momentous occasion at Air Force Station Halwara.
Air Marshal Arup Raha AVSM VM, in his address, congratulated the air warriors of Halwara air base for successful induction fo SU-30 MKI.
He appreciated the efforts put in by all personnel in operationalising the Squadron within a very short period.
The Squadron has enhanced the operational capability of Western Air Command in a substantial manner.
The Air Marshal and his wife interacted with the officers and their spouses during social evening organised at the Officers' Mess.
Lily Raha interacted with the spouses of air warriors (Sanginis) during the customary welfare meeting held at CV Gole auditorium.
She also visited various welfare ventures run by President of AFWWA (Local) Suneeta Kapoor.
Air Force Station Halwara is one of the oldest frontline Airbases of the IAF.
Halwara, due to its strategic location was actively involved in both 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
Halwara has been home to Spitfires in early 1950s to being the hub of Mig-23 operations till 2009. It was later chosen to base the first SU-30 MKI Squadron in the Western Air Command in 2011.
The 'Desert Tigers' were formed as an offensive fighter Squadron on Feb 3, 1963.