Si­achen Pi­o­neers cel­e­brate Golden Ju­bilee


The 114 He­li­copter Unit (HU), also known as the “Si­achen Pi­o­neers”, cel­e­brated its Golden Ju­bilee at Leh re­cently. Se­nior In­dian Air Force of­fi­cers from Air Head­quar­ters, Western Air Com­mand and re­tired Si­achen Pi­o­neers and Army of­fi­cers from lo­cal for­ma­tions at­tended the cel­e­bra­tions, which in­cluded visit to the Unit op­er­a­tions area and in­ter­ac­tion with the unit per­son­nel.

The oc­ca­sion was marked by the maiden visit of 114 HU Com­modore Com­man­dant, Air Com­modore P.K. Sharma VM. Also present on the oc­ca­sion was the pre­vi­ous Com­modore Com­man­dant AVM M. Ba­hadur VM (Retd). He has a distinc­tion of be­ing part of the crew of the first ever he­li­copter land­ing in the Si­achen Glacier, in a Chetak he­li­copter, on Septem­ber 20, 1978. This was a feat that paved way for the In­dian Army mak­ing its strong­hold on Si­achen Glacier. The Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer Wing Com­man­der B.S. Sher­awat, VM handed over the Com­modore Com­man­dant’s Flag to Air Com­modore P.K. Sharma VM.

The unit has been en­gaged in ser­vice of “Oper­a­tion Megh­doot” for over three decades. It rou­tinely in­volves land­ing at the high­est heli­pads in the world, in Si­achen Glacier and fly­ing the he­li­copters to the edge of its flight en­ve­lope over a very treach­er­ous ter­rain marked by un­cer­tain weather. For its coura­geous deeds, the Unit has earned 62 Gal­lantry/Pres­i­den­tial.

The unit has been awarded the Pres­i­dent’s Stan­dard in 1996, Unit Ci­ta­tion by the Chief of Air Staff in 2004 and a place in the Limca Book of Records for the high­est he­li­copter land­ing at a den­sity al­ti­tude of 25,140 feet. Be­sides this, the Unit is fa­mous world­wide for its dar­ing res­cues of moun­taineers and trekkers.

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