In a first of its kind, three pilots were awarded ‘wings’ on successful completion of the basic Dornier Conversion Course during an impressive ceremonial parade held on 30 Jul 14 at INS Garuda, the Naval Air Station at Kochi.
The ceremony thus witnessed the transition of the young officers into pilots of Indian Navy’s formidable maritime reconnaissance arm. Rear Admiral K Ravikiran, Admiral Superintendent of the Yard, NSRY (Kochi) reviewed the parade and awarded the ‘wings’ to passing out officers.
Departing from the usual practice of being trained by the IAF, the passing out officers were trained at INAS 550, a premier Air Squadron of INS Garuda. During the 26 week course, the officers were introduced to various aspects of Dornier operations with an aim to enhance their proficiency in Multi Engine flying. Lt Vivek Mishra was awarded first in overall order of merit and ground subjects whilst Lt DS Koshyari was awarded best in flying.
Addressing the parade after presenting the trophies, Rear Admiral K Ravikiran, spoke about the ongoing transformation of Indian Navy in general and the Naval Aviation Arm in particular. He emphasised on the fact that whilst the assets are growing at a fast pace there is a need to nurture the Man behind the Machine with care so as to ensure that the assets are utilised to its full potential. In conclusion the Admiral congratulated the graduating officers and award winners and complimented each and every member of the team that played a role in this historical feat.
Press Release, July 31, 2014; Image: Indian Navy