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.

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