Air Force Association Celebrates Annual Day
The Annual Day of Air Force Association began in the morning of September 15 with the wreath-laying ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. The wreath was placed by President of Air Force Association Veteran Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. This was followed by Annual General Body meeting held at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, wherein some of the air force nonagenarians and octogenarians were honoured and presented mementoes by the Air Force Association, wishing them a healthy and long life. The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa was the Chief Guest who addressed the gathering. Retired chiefs of the Air Staff, very large number of officers and airmen attended the Annual General Meeting.
Air Force Association is a welfare organisation in the non-governmental sector, actively involved in the welfare of air veterans and their families. The organisation is also deeply committed to alleviating the sufferings of widows and destitute children.
The association was established on 15 September 1980 under the patronage of Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh DFC. It has 19 branches spread all over the country. In addition, it has two branches in the UK and Australia. It has more than 84,015 air veteran members and 4,324 spouse members on its roll.
The Raising Day of the Air Force Association is celebrated on September 15 every year. It is an occasion when the valour and heroic deeds of gallant air force personnel, who had made supreme sacrifice in the past to defend the country, are remembered. The Annual Day also provides opportunities to the serving and retired air force personnel to strengthen the bonds of comradeship, brotherhood and espirit-de-corps.
IAF Conducts Joint Basic Training with French Aircraft
The IAF recently participated in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 at Darwin, Australia. Sixteen different nations from across the globe, including French Air Force (FAF) participated in the exercise. On the return leg, Rafale fighter aircraft and transport aircraft of FAF staged through Air Force Station, Gwalior and Air Force Station, Agra from September 1-4.
During the staging period, the FAF and IAF carried out basic joint training, which included fighter sorties by pilots in their respective aircraft with observers onboard each other’s transport aircraft supporting the missions. This interaction with FAF provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and sharing of best practices during cooperative deployment.
Experts Meet to Discuss Aerospace Medicine
Space is the final frontier. With the Prime Minister having announced a manned space mission – Gaganyaan – that will carry three Indian astronauts to space hopefully by 2022, aerospace medicine will have a crucial part to play in this endeavour.
With an eye on this and other advancements, a three-day 57th annual conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ISAM) was inaugurated at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bengaluru on September 14. The theme of the conference this year is ‘Aerospace Medicine: Field Applications’.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa was the chief guest and delivered the inaugural address. The air chief said that ISAM will get actively involved in astronaut selection for the manned space mission including other tasks. The Air Chief also insisted that aerospace medicine specialists are best friends of the aircrews in the field and appreciated the specialists for doing a commendable job.
He also presented the prestigious Air Vice Marshal Srinagesh trophy to Major Urmimala Bhattacharya for topping the advanced course in aerospace medicine this year. The Chief of Air Staff trophy went to Sergeant Lieutenant Sangmesh from the Indian Navy and the DGMS (Air) Trophy was given to Flight Lieutenant Srishti Tripathi.
Air Marshal N.B. Amaresh (retd) delivered the Subroto Mukherjee Oration. Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services Lieutenant General Bipin Puri was the chairperson for the oration. Close to 250 eminent doctors and scientists from all over the world attended the conference. Commandant, IAM, Air Cmde Anupam Agarwal welcomed the guests and the Presidential address was given by Commandant AFMC Pune, Air Marshal C.K. Ranjan.
Over the three days period, the conference discussed the latest scientific advances concerning military, civil aviation and space medicine.
Exercise Aviaindra 2018 Kicks Off in Russia
Exercise Aviaindra, which is an Air Force level exercise between India and the Russian Federation, kicked off in Lipetsk, Russia from 17 September to 28 September 2018 and will later be conducted in Jodhpur, India from 10 December to 22 December 2018.
It was first conducted in 2014 and has been planned as a bi-annual exercise ever since. The Indian contingent for exercise Aviaindra departed for Russia on September 15. The contingent comprised 30 officers from different branches and streams of the IAF including four women officers from the Flying, Administration, and Medical Branch. The IAF’s aircraft participating in the exercise included Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8 and An-26.
Exercise Aviaindra is focused towards anti-terrorist operations in a bi-lateral scenario. The exercise aims to further enhance the co-operation and understanding of each other’s Concept of Operations. The exercise also included formal interactions, discussions, exchange of ideas and friendly sports matches to enhance bonhomie between the two air forces.
CAS ACM B.S. Dhanoa Visits Myanmar and Malaysia
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa was on an official visit to Myanmar and Malaysia from September 3-8. The visit was beneficial for enhancing the strong camaraderie and partnership that the nations and their air forces share. Presently, the areas of cooperation include exchanges in military training course, mutual visits by subject matter experts and joint air exercises.
During the visit, CAS visited various operational establishments and interacted with senior functionaries of the Myanmar and Malaysian Air Forces. The main focus was to share ideas, enhance mutual engagement and promote understanding.
The visit of the Indian Air Force Chief provided further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation between the air forces and pave the way for greater interaction in future.
German National CASEVAC from Pingdon La
A message about a Personal Rescue Beacon (PRB) being activated close to Pingdong La was received at the Regional Coordination Centre for rescue. The signal was coded for two German nationals trekking from Ringdum to Dibling. This message was relayed immediately to Western Air Command and the Siachen Pioneers Helicopter unit based at Leh was tasked to investigate. Since it was evening and weather in the region did not permit a launch, it was decided to get airborne at daybreak.
Michael and his wife Annettee were trekking when they were caught in a blizzard. For two days incessant snowfall prevented any movement and by then the couple’s supplies had run out. Michael decided to activate his Personal Rescue Beacon as a last resort.
Two helicopters piloted by Wg Cdr Dey and Wg Cdr Pradhan of the Siachen pioneers got airborne at 0600 hrs on September 25 and headed in the probable direction of the PRB. On initial approach, they could not find anything. “We went back to where the footprints had started and worked our way backwards. A little ahead we found a grey protrusion which initially looked like a rock face, but on closer inspection found the edges to be flapping due to wind. Soon, Michael came out of the tent, which we thought was a rock and waved to us,” said Wg Cdr Dey, the mission leader and commanding officer of the unit.
“The site was on an incline of 35-45 degrees and we could not land the helicopter. I held on a low hover and my co-pilot jumped out to ascertain that these were the people we were looking for and their medical condition. Both were able to move about, though the gentleman had developed frostbite. I picked up the lady and asked Wg Cdr Dey to come down and pick up the gentleman in a similar manner. With both on board, we flew back safely to Leh,” said Wg Cdr Pradhan, the captain of the second helicopter.
The rescued couple have been transferred to a medical facility at Leh and are recuperating well.