An IDC Report


New Delhi, 25 February 2005

IAF Peace 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 mission.          
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 year.   
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.

IAF 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 Manila in Philippines and would be routing via Bangkok. The IL-76 is expected to return tomorrow after delivering the relief material.

The Mission 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.

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