Gopalpur: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday awarded the President’s Colours to the Corps of Army Air Defence at Gopalpur Military Station in Ganjam district on completion of 25 years as an independent arm. The President’s Colours were received by Army AD Centre on behalf of the Corps of Army Air Defence.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Army chief Bipin Rawat was present. The President arrived in Bhubaneswar on Friday on a two-day visit to Odisha.
The President’s Colours is the highest honour bestowed upon a regiment of the armed forces in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the security of the nation during peace and hostilities.
During World War II, the Air Defence troops participated in various operations like the Burma campaign, siege of Imphal and Kohima, recapture of Rangoon, operations in Arakans, Myitkiyina, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaya, Bahrain, Iraq and Persia and won multiple gallantry awards namely 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 however, as an independent arm, it got recognition in 1994. The Corps has, till date, 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 Indo-Pakistan war.
The President was presented the Rashtriya Salute at the commencement of an impressive parade led by the contingent.
Addressing the gathering the President said, “I am happy to be here at the Army Air Defence Centre. Indian Army’s role in nation building is immense.” He recalled the glorious legacy of the Indian armed forces in protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation in general and the Corps of Army Air Defence in particular.