Patiala/Chandigarh – A spectacular Air Show was conducted at Patiala today as a part of the ongoing Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Army Aviation Corps in the Western Command. Attended by over a thousand spectators including Army Aviation Corps Officers, other Ranks, their families and school students who were overwhelmed to see the air show, the display showcased the heritage and capabilities of this Air Arm of the Indian Army. In a daring display, Cheetah, Chetak and Dhruv helicopters were flown to demonstrate various capabilities in support of Army and Civil Administration. The show also included an impressive fly past by all types of aircraft held by the Indian Army. Lt Gen Baljeet Singh, Chief of Staff (COS), Western Command who was present for the show, lauded the spectacular contribution made by this young fledgling arm over the last twenty five years. 01 Nov 1986 was the historic day when Air operations (OP) units of Army Aviation Corps came into being.
As a part of Silver jubilee Celebrations of Army Aviation Corps Northen Command has organized such Air show at Nagrota and Eastern Command at Misamari in the first week of this month. While South Western Command has planned air show at Bathinda on 12 Nov, Central Command at Lucknow on 11 Nov and Southern Command at Jodhpur on 14 Nov of this month.
The Army Aviation Corps has its origin in the Second World War, when Army pilots flew small unarmed aircraft like Austers and Tiger Moths for reconnaissance and direction of Artillery fire. The first Indian Air Observation Flight was raised at Ranchi in August 1947. Gradually the Air Observation Flights expanded and the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 proved to be fields and skies of glory for this tiny band of winged warriors. Their contribution in the famous battle of Longewala added a new dimension to the phrase ‘unarmed into battle’. On 01 Nov 1986, the Army Aviation Corps was born with the transfer of all Air Observation Post assets from the Air Force to the Army. Over the years, Army Aviators have distinguished themselves in all major conflicts and have played a pivotal role in humanitarian operations. Today, the Army Aviation Corps is riding at the crest of a Revolution in Military Affairs and without doubt it is the ‘Arm of the Future’. With the induction of the Dhruv and the future induction of the armed ‘Rudra’, the arm is on the verge of becoming the manoeuvre force in the third dimension – a veritable force which will shape the future battle field.