VELLORE: Nine Navy and 4 Coast Guard pilots, who completed 22 weeks of training at the Helicopter Training School(HTS) INAS 561 in Arakkonam, were awarded the ‘wings’ by the Rear Admiral Devendar M Sudan, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air), at a passing-out parade on Thursday.
The parade was held at the Naval Air Station Rajali, Arakkonam, to mark the graduation from the 82nd Helicopter Conversion Course.
The pilots underwent training for 22 weeks in flying and aviation subjects at the HTS. So far, the school has seen 599 pilots for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard passing out. The school is commanded by Commander Paul Mathew.
Helicopter Training School (HTS) was based in Kochi till 1992 and thereafter shifted to INS Rajali at Arakkonam which is the largest operational air base of the Navy.
Speaking on the occasion, the Rear Admiral Sudan said the Navy had a substantial modernisation programme which encompassed naval aviation. The Navy was looking at inducting state-of-the-art helicopters with latest standards, variants and weapons. Trained manpower and pilots were the vital link in the seamless integration of man and machine, he said. Further, he said, the new qualification also had brought in added responsibilities of commitment, professionalism and dedication.
The Governor of Kerala Rolling Trophy for the best allround trainee pilot was awarded to Sub- Lieutenant Ankit Agarwal.
The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy for the trainee pilot standing first in order of merit in flying, was awarded to Sub-Lieutenant Ankit Agarwal.
A book prize for standing first in ground subjects was awarded to Sub-Lieutenant Sidharth Rajan KV.
The graduated pilots would be joining operational flights in Mumbai, Port Blair, Goa, Kochi, Vizakapatnam, Daman and Chennai.