By Col Aman Anand
GOPALPUR/ODISHA:The Sixth Reunion of the Corps of Army Air Defence was celebrated on 20 and 21 Sep 2019 at Army AD College, Gopalpur on Sea near Brahmapur in Odisha.
The Corps of Army Air Defence is a relatively young arm. However in a short span of twenty five years since its bifurcation from the Regiment of Artillery, the Army Air Defence has already created a legacy for itself within the Indian Army. As sentinels of the skies, the Army Air Defence has proved its mettle in war, internal security duties and during natural calamities.
The role of Army Air Defence in preserving strategic assets & key assets in the Tactical Battle Area of the nation assumes great significance in view of the emerging air threat. Army Air Defence will play a defining role in future conflicts and has thus taken a lead in induction of technologically sophisticated weapons and equipment besides selective upgradation of the existing equipment.
The exploits of Army Air Defence warriors have earned the Corps numerous Gallantry & Distinguished Services awards incl two Ashoka Chakras, two Kirti Chakras, 20 Vir Chakras, nine Shaurya Chakras, 112 Sena Medals, one Medal of British Empire, seven India Distinguished Service Medal, two order of British Empire, 10 PVSMs, 22 AVSMs, and 44 VSMs in various operations including the 1947 Internal Disturbance, 1965 & 71 Indo-Pak Wars, besides operations in J & K, North Eastern states and the Siachin Glacier. In addition, four Army Air Defence units have been awarded the coveted Honour Titles in the 1971 War.
The sixth Army Air Defence Reunion provided a platform for interaction among the serving and retired Army Air Defence gunners to renew their ties, pay tributes to their martyred comrades and to honour their Veer Naries.
The celebrations included Wreath Laying at the War Memorial, a specially convened Sainik Sammelan for all ranks including veterans, felicitation of gallantry award winners and Veer Naris, display of transformation of Army Air Defence equipment profile, as also the traditional military gettogether over a Barakhana.
A spectacular display of Army Air Defence history and heritage, Light and Sound Show at Army Air Defence Museum & Army Air Defence Band symphony were also organised to commemorate this occasion.