Milestone Moment: Honoring Excellence in the Skies

In a dazzling display of national pride and military prowess, the Indian Air Force (IAF) achieved a historic milestone on March 8, 2024. In a ceremony held at Air Force Station Hindan in Ghaziabad, the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, adorned 45 Squadron, 221 Squadron, 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD), and 509 Signal Unit (SU) with the prestigious President’s Standard and Colours.

This unprecedented event marked a watershed moment in the IAF’s storied history. Four distinguished units were simultaneously honoured, reaffirming their unwavering dedication to the nation’s defence and security.

Author Provided

What is the President’s Standard and Colours?

 The President’s Standard and Colours are the highest accolades a military unit can receive, symbolizing excellence, courage, and an unyielding commitment to duty. These honours are not merely symbols; they encapsulate the essence of the sacrifices, discipline, and exceptional contributions made by these units in the nation’s service.

The ceremony was breathtaking, with an awe-inspiring aerial salute led by three Mi-171V helicopters in the ‘Dhwaj’ formation trooping the National flag. The presence of General VK Singh (Retd), Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, alongside other esteemed officers of the IAF, added a layer of prestige to the event.

Under the command of Group Captain KS Sanu Nair of 11 BRD, the ceremonial parade showcased military precision and discipline, underscoring the dedication of these units. The release of First Day covers for 45 Squadron, 221 Squadron, 11 BRD, and 509 SU by the Hon’ble President further solidified the historical significance of the occasion.

Group Captain M Surendran, Commanding Officer of 45 Squadron, and Group Captain Shubhankan, Commanding Officer of 221 Squadron, proudly received the President’s Standard. Equally commendable were the recipients of the President’s Colours: Air Commodore Ashutosh Vaidya, Air Officer Commanding 11 BRD, and Group Captain Vivek Sharma, Commanding Officer of 509 SU.

In her address to the parade, the President congratulated the units and acknowledged their outstanding service to the nation. She praised the IAF’s valour, commitment, and sacrifices, emphasising its pivotal role in both wartime and peacetime, including its integral contributions to the country’s space programs and the upcoming Gaganyaan mission.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the President lauded the women personnel of the IAF as well, highlighting the strides made in gender equality and career advancement within the force. The IAF’s commitment to providing equal opportunities to women officers across all branches was hailed as a beacon of progress.

The President’s Standard and Colours presentation ceremony not only stands as a testament to the IAF’s unwavering commitment to excellence and national security but also as a source of inspiration for the nation. The IAF’s achievements and contributions, both in the skies and beyond, continue to elevate India’s global stature. As the tricolour flutters alongside these honoured units, let’s salute the defenders of our skies and the guardians of our sovereignty.