Kolkata,The touchdown by an IAF C-130J Super Hercules at Panagarh airfield was smooth today. The landing was significant as it heralds the beginning of a new chapter enhancing IAF’s strategic capability in the Eastern AOR (area of responsibility).
Air marshal SB Deo, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command and other senior IAF officials were among those present as the C-130J demonstrated its agility in the air before coming in for a landing.
Earlier, three Hawk Jets in a vic formation flew past the airfield ahead of the C-130’s arrival over Panagarh from Hindan, presently IAF’s only Super Hercules hub. Panagarh is the designated as the second hub for the next batch of six C-130J aircraft after induction.
Air Marshal Deo earlier inaugurated the newly resurfaced runway at Air Force Station Panagarh. He was also briefed on the ongoing projects and congratulated the Runway Project Team for successful completion of task.
“Panagarh is being developed as a base for C-130J. It is a special forces aircraft and that is why it is designated J,” Air Marshal SB Deo, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, addressing mediapersons, said. “There are also plans for a larger aircraft, a tanker variety aircraft,” he also added.
“Availbaility of Panagarh Airfield will definitely enhance strategic capability of IAF in the Eastern Area of Responsibility (AOR) and will also augment mobililty of Mountain Strike Corps which will be stationed at Panagarh in near future,” Air Marshal Deo said.
The presence of the C-130J will also help in HADR (humanitarian and disaster relief) operations in Bengal and adjoining regions,” he also said, outlining the various utilities of the aircraft besides its primary role.
The AOC-in-C also visited various operational facilities and lodger units of the Station. He also addressed the Air Warriors and appreciated the efforts of the Station in bringing up the facilities to operational standard in laid down time frame.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Anjna Deo, President AFWWA (R), visited Air Force School, AFWWA complex and Family Welfare Centre. During her visit to school, she was briefed on the development of the school during the current year.
The AFWWA President was also acquainted with the welfare activities of the Station. She interacted with the families of Air Warriors of Air Force Station, Panagarh and listened to their problems besides expressing her views on enhancement of various welfare measures and schemes in vogue for the benefit of Sanginis and children of Air Warriors.