President honours IAF helicopter unit, equipment depot

Jamnagar (Gujarat), March 4 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday presented President’s Standard to 119 Helicopter Unit and President’s Colours to 28 Equipment Depot of the Indian Air Force here.

One of the premier flying units of the Indian Air Force, the 119 helicopter unit boasts of the country’s latest helicopter Mi-17 V5.

The unit, also known as “The Stallions” and the first to fly Mi-8 choppers, will receive the award on its 45th raising day.

The unit has been part of many operations including, relief work in Nepal after the April 2015 earthquake; the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks; relief and rescue after the 2004 tsunami; Operation Cactus in 1988 to stop the attempted coup in Maldives; Operation Pawan – the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna in 1987; counter insurgency operations in Nagaland; and Operation Falcon along China’s border in Arunachal Pradesh.

Talking about the capabilities of Mi-17 V5, an officer from the unit said the chopper has already seen action and proved its mettle in different terrains, be it in the Himalayas, the deserts of Rajasthan or the Maoist-hit central India.

So far, the unit has received one Vir Chakra, five Shaurya Chakras, four Yudh Seva medals, one Vishisht Seva medal, 10 Vayu Sena Medals.

The 28 Equipment Depot maintains explosive ordnance stores.

The depot is a one stop solution provider for all Russian origin guided weapons and ammunitions, and carried out the maintenance and warranty resting, modification and repairs.

The award of President’s colours and standard is one of the greatest honours bestowed upon an Air Force Unit or Squadron in recognition of exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both during war and in peace.

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