BERHAMPUR (ODISHA): President Ram Nath Kovind recalled the glorious legacy of the Indian armed forces in protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
Presenting the President’s Colours to the Corps of Army Air Defence at Gopalpur Military Station on Saturday, Kovind said the sacrifices of jawans has secured the sovereignty of the nation and brought glory to it.
“We have taken a solemn vow to defend the sovereignty of our country against all odds. I am confident that we will fulfil this vow and keep the dignity of our nation and our people intact, whatever be the cost,” he said.
The President awarded the President’s Colours to the Corps of Army Air Defence on completion of 25 years as an independent arm. The President’s Colours were received by the Army AD Centre on behalf of the Corps of Army Air Defence.
The President’s Colours is the highest honour bestowed upon a regiment of the armed forces in recognition of its invaluable contribution to the security of the nation during peace and hostilities.
The Air Defence troops participated in various operations like the Burma campaign, siege of Imphal and Kohima, recapture of Rangoon, operations in Arakans, Myitkiyina, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, Bahrain, Iraq and Persia during World War II.
They won multiple gallantry awards including four Military Crosses, one Medal of the British Empire, seven Indian Distinguished Service Medals and two Orders of the British Empire.
Air Defence has been in existence since 1940 as a part of Corps of Artillery. It, however, got recognition as an independent arm in 1994. The Corps has been awarded two Ashoka Chakras, two Kirti Chakras, 20 Vir Chakras, nine Shaurya Chakras, 113 Sena Medals and 55 Mention-in-Despatches in addition to four battle
honours awarded during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
The President was presented the Rashtriya salute at the commencement of an impressive parade led by the contingent. Later, he paid homage to the martyrs of the Corps of Army Air Defence and congratulated all veterans and serving soldiers of the Corps for their stupendous performance.
“I convey my best wishes to all ranks and families of the entire Air Defence fraternity. You have been true force multipliers in the most inhospitable terrain and climatic conditions in the world,” Kovind added.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and other senior army and government officials were present.