Bangalore, Oct 8 IANS | 2 years ago

The Yelahanka Air Base on the city's outskirts Tuesday celebrated the Indian Air Force's (IAF) 81st anniversary with a ceremonial parade and sorties of transport aircraft and helicopters.

"The air force station has been humming with activity since morning with officers, air warriors, ground staff and others gathering to celebrate the day along with its golden jubilee," a senior air officer told IANS.

He added the base was set up in 1963 for training personnel to fly fixed-wing aircraft and choppers.

Located 20 km from the city centre, the air force station trains about 50 pilots to operate AN-32, Dornier aircraft, and MI-8 and Chetak helicopters for the IAF and the army.

The base is also a regular venue for the biennial Aero India international event where global and Indian aerospace firms participate to showcase products and technologies with static and flying display.

Two decades after the first batch of trainees passed out from the transport training wing in 1963, the World War II air base was renamed an air force station with 112 helicopter units and training command communication flight as its lodger units.

"Four lodger units, including 109 helicopter units and Dornier Tettra School were added in April 1983 to provide operational, maintenance and administrative support to the fixed wing aircraft and choppers," Air Commodore S.P. Singh said.

The unit is also the alma mater of flight engineers and flight gunners, employed on choppers and heavier transport aircraft like the Russian-made Ilyushin (IL)-76, IL-78 and AN-32.

In the city, Air Officer Commanding in-chief Air Marshal P.S. Gill celebrated the event with all the personnel in attendance.

"Training plays a pivotal role in enhancing our operational effectiveness. An effective training mechanism permits knowledge to go hand in hand with discipline whereby our core competencies are supplemented by our values of mission, integrity and excellence," Gill said on the occasion.

Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj visited the command hospital of the IAF in the city and interacted with the airmen under treatment.

As part of the IAF Day, 'Run for Fun', medical camp and musical concert for air warriors and their families were also conducted at the air force station Chimney Hills in the city.

The Chimney Hills, nicknamed the 'Sentinels of the Southern Sky' is the nerve centre of all the air defence activities in the southern peninsula.

(Posted on 08-10-2013)