Defence Minister’s visit to Hindon Airbase
The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar familiarised himself at the Air Force Station Hindon recently with the operations being carried out by the C-17 Globemaster III and the C-130J Super Hercules – the two most modern transport aircraft in the inventory of the Indian Air Force. He was accompanied by the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air Command Air Marshal S.S. Soman. On his arrival at Hindon, the Minister was briefed by Air Marshal Soman on the role for which both these aircraft are being employed and their potential for deployment in various contingencies. This was followed by a tour of the flight complex and a visit to the special equipment bay.
The Minister was also provided an onsite familiarisation of both the aircraft followed by a visit to the C-130J simulator wherein he gained first-hand experience of flying the C-130J along with Group Captain Tejbir Singh, Commanding Officer of 77 Squadron. Parrikar also had a ‘Windshield Tour’ of the C-17 where he was familiarised with the onboard equipment and instrumentation by Group Captain B.S. Reddy, Commanding Officer of 81 Squadron.
77 Squadron specialises in undertaking a gamut of diverse roles including insertion and quick deployment of special forces, airdrop and airlanded operations in hostile areas and other combat support roles. The Super Hercules was used extensively during the flood relief operations in Uttarakhand – the aircraft landed at Dharasu to supply fuel to helicopters involved in rescue and relief operations. The Globemaster is presently used for carrying out routine and special missions to high altitude airfields at Leh and Thoise. 81 Squadron provided succour and relief to the flood affected people of Jammu and Kashmir by transporting relief material and passengers.