Keeping in DRC
The IAF is India's air arm which has now realised it can do
diplomacy and India is a main contributor for UN Peace keeping
and our officers earn the Nation a good name.
Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, the Vice Chief of Air Staff flagged
off the Indian Aviation Contingent-II (IAC II) to the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), today at Air Force Station
Palam, New Delhi. IAC II comprises 285 Air Warriors of Indian
Air Force, five Mi-17 and four Mi-35 (attack) helicopters.
The contingent has been tasked with two objectives, first to
provide mobility to UN staff/forces and also act as a
deterrent force for the belligerent groups who may try to
destablise the peace process. The contingent forms a part of
the 17,500 strong UN peace keepers deployed in DRC.
Addressing the Congo bound Air Warriors, Air Marshal Ajit
Bhavnani said “you are the ambassadors of peace and the nation
has high expectations from you in terms of discipline,
integrity and professional standards. Your predecessors have
set high standards and you should be setting higher
standards”. Air Marshal Bhavnani also congratulated every
member of the contingent for being selected for the
The situation in DRC has undergone a sea change after the
Indian Air Force arrived on the scene in 2003. Today DRC is at
the threshold of its first ever elections scheduled later this
year. IAF helicopters spearheaded frantic efforts of the UN
Contingent in Congo (MONUC) for first stabilizing the
situation and then making referendum held successfully last
IAC II is headed by Gp Capt Rajan Kapur who is a helicopter
pilot with more than 5000 hours of flying experience. The team
of Air Warriors comprise logisticians, technical experts,
medical and administrative support teams.
Carries Relief Material to Philippines
An Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft carrying 34 tonnes of
relief material, left for Philippines on 22 Feb for the
people affected due to a massive mudslide that occurred on
Friday, 17 Feb 06. The mud slide had occurred in Leyte
Province of Philippines where over 1400 persons are feared
buried and several hundreds injured and affected.
The payload of relief material comprised tents, medicines,
blankets, pre-cooked food etc. The IAF IL-76 departed this
morning at 0815 hrs for
Philippines and would be routing via Bangkok. The IL-76 is
expected to return tomorrow after delivering the relief
has been undertaken by IAF under the auspices of Ministry of
Defence and Ministry of External Affairs. The Nagpur based 44
Squadron of IAF IL-76 was tasked to undertake this commitment.
Gp Capt Rajat Sharma, the Commanding Officer of 44 Sqn is the
Captain of the mission.
It may be recalled that the Indian Air Force, last year i.e.
in 2005 carried relief material to United States of America in
the aftermath of Hurricane ‘Katrina’ and to Pakistan after the
disastrous earthquake of 08 Oct.