National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 22 March, 2018
The President of India and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Ram Nath Kovind awarded the President’s Standard to 51 Squadron and President’s Colours to 230 Signal Unit of the Indian Air Force in a ceremonial parade at Air Force Station Halwara on 22 Mar 18 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.
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 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.
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.
This is the second occasion when 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 17.
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 and Air Marshal C Harikumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.