New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) The Indian Air Force's Communication Squadron, the official carrier of the President, Vice-President, the Prime Minister and visiting heads of states, is in the process of acquiring Boeing Business Jets (BBJs) as part of its fleet modernisation programme.
The squadron has turned sixty and is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee, and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal F H Major released a first day cover here today to mark the occasion.
The BBJ is a specially configured aircraft for VVIP comfort. Its interiors create a working environment befitting the VVIP's official stature. It is, more importantly, equipped with the latest self- protection suit thus providing VIPs the highest level of protection from any ground based or airborne threat, a Defence Ministry press release said.
Formed in January, 1947, the squadron has also flown several well-known world leaders in the past six decades, including Ho Chi Minh, Nikita Kruschev, Chou En Lai, Tunku Abdul Rehman, Jaqueline Kennedy, the Shah of Iran, Tito, John Major, Boris Yelstin, Princess Anne, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama, The squadron has, since its inception, flown 12 aircraft, starting with the Airspeed Oxford to the present trio of Mi-8, B-737 and Embraer-135 Legacy. The personnel chosen to form the squadron are the very best and understand the responsibility they shoulder when they fly the highest ranking dignitaries of our country, the release said.
In 1962, then President S Radhakrishnan awarded the squadron its crest, the Pegasus, and its motto "Seva aur Suraksha".
Later, in 1984, then President Giani Zail Singh awarded the squadron his standard.