Porbandar, June 12 : Minister of State for Defence Dr. MM Pallam Raju on Thursday commissioned Coast Guard Air Enclave at Porbandar in Gujarat.
The Director General Indian Coast Guard, Vice Admiral RF Contractor and other senior dignitaries from the Central and State Govt were also present on the occasion.
The Air Enclave will function under the operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard District Headquarters one, Porbandar.
The CGAE, Porbandar would operate one Dornier fixed wing aircraft and one Chetak helicopter.
The integral aircraft will be deployed in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with a view to carry out duties as mandated in the Coast Guard charter. Commissioning of Air Enclave would ensure prompt air-sea coordinated patrol, EEZ surveillance, Search and rescue, Medical evacuation missions by the Indian Coast Guard in the Gulf of Kutch region as well as waters adjoining the coastal state of Gujarat.
Beginning in 1982 with the induction of two HAL built Chetak helicopters for ship borne operations, the aviation assets of the Indian Coast Guard have reasonably grown both in terms of number of airplanes, helicopters, operating bases as well as sophisticated sensors.
Today, the Coast Guard Aviation with an inventory of 17 Chetak helicopters, 24 Dornier aircraft, four Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) has the capability to launch air efforts from the west to the far eastern maritime frontiers of our nation. This would be further strengthened with the induction of Multi Mission Marine aircraft (MMMA) in the near future as envisaged in the Coast Guard Plan.
The Aviation arm of the Coast Guard undertakes coordinated operations in support of the surface assets towards protection of our vast EEZ, extend assistance to fishermen and mariners in distress, preserve and protect marine environment and assist the local authorities during natural calamities.
The Indian Coast Guard has a very vital role to play not only in the defence of the country but also in imparting meaning and depth to the country's development efforts by playing a positive role in guarding our maritime frontiers.