President awards `Standards` to two Air Force units

President Pratibha Patil awarded prestigious `Standards` to 44 Squadron and 110 Helicopter Unit of the IAF in recognition of their sustained hard work and "operational excellence" during the times of war and peace.

Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 22:02 PM IST

Bagdogra: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday
awarded prestigious `Standards` to 44 Squadron and 110
Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force here in recognition of
their sustained hard work and "operational excellence" during
the times of war and peace.

"It gives me immense pleasure to be at Air Force
Station Bagdogra, and to award Standards to 44 Squadron and
110 Helicopter Unit, popularly known as the `Mighty Jets` and
`Vanguards` respectively," Patil said after awarding the
honour to the two Air Force units.
The 44 Squadron is a transport unit formed in 1961. It
was equipped with AN-32 aircraft.

"The unit also operates Russian made IL-76, which has
been named as Gajraj. It can carry tanks also. and can
accommodate around 350 personnel. Its is capable of carrying a
load of 44 tonnes," an Air Force officer said.
During the India-Pakistan conflict of 1965, the 44
Squadron had carried out extensive airlift operations in
support of the Army, while during the 1971 war, it carried out
extensive bombing missions with the AN-12 aircraft, which had
been suitably modified for the bombing role.

For its valorous efforts, 44 Squadron was awarded
`Battle Honours`, which is a rare honour for a transport
squadron.

"Both these flying units have a rich tradition of
valour and courage, and have rendered distinguished service to
the nation since their inception," Patil said.

Their personnel, both past and present, have put in
untiring efforts in pursuit of excellence and have set an
example for others to emulate and for their selfless devotion,
professionalism and courage in the face of adversity, the
Nation honours them today with a deep sense of gratitude and
appreciation, she added.

"The award of `Standard` is in recognition of
sustained hard work and operational excellence displayed by
these units during war, natural calamities and peace time
operations," an official statement said.

PTI