Sunday, April 14, 2013

IAF Airbase Hasimara In North Bengal Completes 50 Years

Air Force Station, Hasimara, a premiere Indian Air Force (IAF) airbase under Eastern Air Command (EAC), established in the sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal after the Sino-India War of 1962, completed 50 years of operational existence last week.

A week-long celebration was held to mark the golden jubilee celebrations at the airbase from April 7, which ended on Saturday.

The airbase was activated on April 7, 1963, when an IAF Caribou aircraft landed and dropped off its first Station Commander, Wing Commander DG King-Lee. The airbase is presently commanded by Air Commodore N Bahri. 

The airbase was initially home to IAF Toofani squadrons. Over the years, various IAF fighter units operated from here flying the Gnats, Ajeets, Hunters, MiG-21Bis and the Mig-27 ML fighter jets.

Incidentally, the first aerobatics team of the IAF, famously called "The Thunderbolts" flying the Hawker Hunter aircraft was formed here at this base. The aerobatics team that enthralled the nation with scintillating displays was set up on the occasion of IAF's golden jubilee in 1982 and flew till the end of 1990.

On Saturday, three IAF Sukhoi-30 MKIs from EAC's Tezpur airbase flew in from neighbouring state of Assam for a glorious fly-past over the airbase heralding the golden milestone of the airbase. 

Aerial display by Mi-17 V5 helicopters, special heli-borne operations by IAF Garud commandos and skydiving display were also held. A large number of visitors including civilians viewed the static display that showcased Mig-27 ML fighter, Mi-17 V5 helicopter and air defence radars. A military band also performed at the event.

The decision to establish the air base here was taken after the 1962 war, which had just ended. The airbase took active part in the Indo-Pak conflict of 1965 and the Indo-Pak war in 1971. One Mahavir Chakra, three Vir Chakras, one Vayu Sena Medal and six Mention-in-Despatches were awarded to the valiant air warriors of this airbase in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

1 comment:

Anantz said...

Mam, could you please mention which squadron do the Mig 27 belong to, which are flying out of Hasimara, and what is the name of the helicopter unit which flies the Mi 17 V5. Thank you.