By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Jan 13:
Air Marshal Vikram Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command arrived on a three day visit to inspect the operational preparedness of Indian Air Force (IAF) bases in and around Mumbai on Thursday.
AOC-in-C, will visit the Air Station at Madh Island (Madh Hawk) at Malad in North Mumbai and the Air Station at Kanheri Hills in Thane among other Air bases.
Air Marshal Vikram Singh, is accompanied by his wife Dr.(Mrs) Arathi Singh, President, Air Force Families Welfare Association (AFFWA) (Regional). They were received by Group Captain K Praveen Kumar, Station Commander, Air Force Station Mumbai and Mrs Tarun Preet Kaur, President, AFFWA (local).
The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief is responsible for all IAF Operations along the western border from Rajasthan till North Karnataka. During his visit, the AOC-in-C was briefed on Operational, Maintenance and Administrative aspects of the base.
The AOC-in-C during the interaction with Air Warriors of the base, complimented them for their combat readiness and stressed on meeting all challenges head on in the service of the nation. He also highlighted the need to integrate the upcoming “Agniveervayus” into the IAF seamlessly.
Air Marshal Vikram Singh also interacted with Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command as part of his visit.
The IAF bases in Mumbai
The Kalina Air Force Camp, Santacruz East in North West Mumbai and the Air Force station at Cotton Green in Central Mumbai. Started as No. 305 Maintenance Units, Royal Air Force in 1945 holding aircraft spares, the Cotton Green Air Force Station was re-established as No. 02 Equipment Depot (ED) in 1948. It was re-designated as No. 22 ED in 1964. In1967 an element of No. 22 ED was converted into No. 30 ED AF. However in 1981, No. 30 ED Air Force Station was bifurcated into two separate entities, 411 Air Force Station, with Headquarters at Cotton Green and No. 30 ED AF with Headquarters at Kalina. However, this Equipment Depot became a lodger Units of Air Force Station, Mumbai in April 1997. In 2005, the HQ was moved to Kalina.