The 70-year-old Naval aviation, which started as a fledgling Fleet Requirement Unit with ten amphibian Sealand aircraft in 1953, is set to be awarded the President’s Colour, the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation.
Incidentally, the Indian Navy was the first amongst the three Services to be awarded the President’s Colour on 27 May 1951 by the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
While the Navy is often associated with the ships, the aviation wing has emerged as an integral part of the naval operations, both defensive and offensive in nature.
“For supremacy or control of the Indian Ocean, naval aviation is very important,” former Navy chief Admiral Prakash (retd) told ThePrint.
The retired officer, who is one of the four Navy chiefs to come from the flying branch, a list that also includes current chief Admiral Karambir Singh, says that while post World War II, many countries could not afford naval aviation, India along with the major powers focussed on it.