Air Force to be coordinating agency during 64th I-Day celebrations

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New Delhi, Aug.14 (ANI): As the nation celebrates its 64th Independence Day here on Sunday, this year the Indian Air Force will be the coordinating agency and thus the Guard of Honour presented to the Prime Minister on this occasion will be commanded by Wg Cdr P Panda.

The Army contingent for PM's Guard is from 15th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. The battalion was raised on January 01, 1976 at Dhana (Madhya Pradesh). Soon after it was raised, it was inducted in Counter Insurgency Operations in Manipur, where it proved its mettle by capturing 55 hard core insurgent, including Chirom Ranjit Singh, 2IC PLA.

During its first field tenure, the unit was awarded two Shaurya Chakras, four Sena Medals,and two Vishist Seva Medals and. Over the years the unit has had the opportunity to serve in varied terrain.

As with its Counter Insurgency tenure (1978-82), the unit once again excelled during its Line of Control / Counter Insurgency Operations tenure in Poonch (2001-04) where it was instrumental in the elimination of 77 terrorists.

Personnel of the battalion have been awarded four Shaurya Chakras, and nineteen Sena Medals.

The unit has the rare distinction of once again being awarded the Chief of the Army Staff Unit Citation 'Op Meghdoot and Op Falcon 2007-09' for its successful tenure in Central Glacier (Op Meghdoot) and Eastern Laddakh.

The battalion is presently the ceremonial battalion of the Indian Army, deployed in Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate and other important places in the capital. The Army Contingent is led by Maj Anindya Chatterjee.

After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister will proceed to the ramparts where he will be greeted by Defence Minister, the Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik.

The GOC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais to unfurl the National Flag.

The unfurling of the tri-colour will synchronize with the 21 gun salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 299 Field Regiment. The battery will be commanded by Lt Col Hemant Kumar Sah and the Gun Position Officer will be Sub (AIG) Gurappadu R.

The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from Army, Navy Air Force and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Wing Commander J Christopher will command the Guards.

The Naval Contingent for National Flag Guard will be commanded by Lt Cdr Amit Sood, the Army contingent by Captain Vikram Singh and Delhi Police contingent by Additional DCP B Shanker Jaiswal.

The Air Force Band Number 6 will play National Anthem when the National Guard presents 'Rashtriya Salute' while unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. All Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute. The Air Force Band will be commanded by Warrant Officer PN Yadav.

Two Air Force Officers, Flying Officer A Vashishtha and Flying Officer Pankaj Gupta will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the PM for AsDC duties. Flt Lt Neha Chauhan will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling of the National Flag.

The Army contingent for National Flag Guard is from the 2nd Battalion of the Rajput Regiment, which was raised on November 30, 1798 at Badgaon.

The Battalion designation was altered eight times, since the raising and finally rechristened as the 2nd Bn of the Rajput Regiment (Kalichindi) on independence. The Battalion has the distinction of having nine battle honours and two theatre honours and has taken part in 1947, 1962 and 1971 operations, where officers and men have exhibited extraordinary courage and valour. The Bn has been awarded Chief of Army Staff commendation for serving with distinction in 'Op Rakshak' in J and K in 1995.

Before Independence, for showing perseverance and sacrifice the battalion got several awards to its credit which include one Victoria Cross. After independence, the battalion has been awarded with one MVC, ten VrC, three SC, two Param Vishist Sewa Medal, two Ati Vishist Sewa Medal, one Yudh Seva Medal, two Vishist Seva Medal and eleven Sena Medals.

The Battalion also has the honour to serve in Sudan as part of United Nation Peace Keeping Mission in 2007-2008. The smartly attired contingents of the 2nd Battalion, The Rajput Regiment comprises of two officers and 32 OR and is led by a very inspiring Capt Vikram Singh. (ANI)

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