Air Chief marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is on a two day visit to Pathankot Air Force Station. After arriving on 4th may, the Chief met with the Air Force Station officials. Air Chief who was accompanied by the President AFWWA Madhubala were received by Air Commodore Rajesh Kumar Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Pathankot and Jaya Kumar, President AFWWA (Local).
The official release mentions that the Air Chief addressed the personnel at the station. Later he visited the operational units based at the station.
The Air Chief is the commodore Commandant of the 26 Squadron, and is one of the units he visited. He had commanded the Squadron from November 24, 1986 to December 18, 1988. The frontline fighter squadron of the Indian Air Force, 26 Squadron called the ‘Warriors’ was formed on January 1, 1968 at Adampur. 26 Sqn was the first to be equipped with Russian built Su-7 aircraft. During 1971 India – Pakistan war, the Squadron earned four Vir Chakras, two Vayu Sena Medals, one Vishisht Seva Medal and one Mention-in-Dispatches. In 1977, the Squadron was re-equipped with Mig-21 aircraft and moved to its present location in Pathankot.
Pathankot is just 30 Kms from the volatile Pakistani border. It is also a vital lifeline to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is under constant threat from Pakistani Army and is under strain because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism.