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Posted at: Nov 12, 2017, 2:30 AM; last updated: Nov 12, 2017, 2:30 AM (IST)

With 278 missions, 35-yr-old Sqn looks forward to President’s Standard

With 278 missions, 35-yr-old Sqn looks forward to President’s Standard
Group Captain Prabhat Malik at the Adampur IAF station.

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Adampur (Jalandhar), November 11

Set to receive the President’s Standard on November 16, the 223 Squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF), stationed at Adampur, has recently converted to flying upgraded MiG 29 aircraft.

The proud Haryana-based Commanding Officer of the 35-year-old Squadron, Group Captain Prabhat Malik, considers himself lucky to receive the one-time prestigious award to the Squadron during his tenure. He shared the stories of the valour displayed by the unit in as many as 278 missions, including Operation Safed Sagar, the aerial combat during Kargil War, and Operation Prakram.

The Squadron, called The Tridents, with 15-20 pilots and four-five engineers including women, was launched on May 10, 1982, with Gp Capt Malik being its 18th Commanding Officer. The President’s Standard is coming to one of the most vital and “pampered” squadrons of the IAF after 35 years of its inception.

Sharing the history of his unit, Gp Capt Malik said, “Our Squadron was launched with MiG 23 MF aircraft to outdo F16s of Pakistan. These aircraft covered a distance beyond the visual range. These achieved 102/147 targets in the 1985 air to air strike. The Squadron, which shifted to MiG 29 in 1990, converted very recently to upgraded MiG 29s on October 8 last.”

As Gp Capt took the media team to the Squadron area today, he showed the working of various control rooms and technical teams. Said Wg Cmdr C Arora of the same Squadron, “We know that our day starts at 6 am, but we do not know when it ends. But to make us get all comforts, the IAF provides us good rest rooms and ensures that we consume good diet before and after the daily sortie. Because of the rush of adrenaline that we get daily during the flights, we cannot sleep for subsequent three hours during which we can spend time in these rest rooms.”

Apart from 223 Squadron, there is 47 Squadron of the MiG 29 at Adampur.

President’s Standard

The operational outfits of the IAF become eligible for the award of the President’s Standard on the completion of 18 years. The selection is based on their performance and achievements, both during peace and hostilities. The honour is an acknowledgment of the meritorious service rendered by the selected units. The President’s Standard is a visible symbol of excellence and has been earned by these units through their dedication and worthy contributions both during peace and war. The Presidential award marks and epitomises the hard work, valour and sacrifices of all personnel posted to these units since their inception. It is a befitting recognition of their selfless service dedicated to the nation.

Adampur civil airport

On the upcoming civil airports, including the one at Adampur, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief C Hari Kumar said the security factors do not worry the IAF. “In the Western Air Command, there are 19 major bases, of which two had a civil airport, including Amritsar and Palam. Now, we have civil flights going from Leh, Thoise, Srinagar, Jammu, Bathinda and Nal. Besides Adampur, civil airports are also coming up at Hindon and Pathankot. In these IAF stations, the civil airports are cut off from the main station. There is just a road going across our wall from outside in which passenger and luggage buses will move, that too with security provided by the CISF on one side and our internal security on the other. So all security provisions are being well taken care of,” he said.


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