Monday, June 7, 2010


An IAF contingent of 230 Air Warriors was flagged off from Air Force Station Bareilly by Air Marshal S Varthaman, Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command at a formal ceremony today. The IAF contingent would be taking part in Exercise Garuda scheduled from 14 Jun to 25 Jun 2010, at Istres Air Base, France.

The IAF assets taking part in exercise include 06 Sukhoi - 30 MKIs Air Dominance fighter aircraft , 03 Ilushin - 78 Flight Refueller Aircraft & 01 Ilushin – 76 Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft. The SU-30 MKIs would be taking part in an exercise in France for the first time. Earlier SU-30 KAs had participated. Also a team of Garud Special Forces would be taking part in Exercise Garuda for the first time.

Addressing the contingent members at the flagging off ceremony Air Mshl Varthaman said "Indeed it is a proud & privileged honour for him to bid the team good flying & happy landings. We have prepared well for last 6 to 8 months and I am sure you will excel with your professionalism. So fly safe, fly well, make friends, win hearts & touch the sky with glory."

At the Exercise Garuda the French Air Force would be participating with their Mirage 2000s & Rafael Aircraft. It should also be noted that the Republic of Singapore Air Force would also be participating in Ex-Garuda with their F-16 Block 52 Aircraft.

Gp Capt J Mishra is the Team Leader under whose supervision the IAF contingent would perform in France. Gp Capt NN Sinha of IAF would be the Exercise Director, who would be planning, coordinating & executing different aspects of the flying & ground maneuvers at Ex Garuda.

A joint exercise of this nature enhances mutual operational understanding. It also refines the procedural aspects and provides for tremendous learning experience, for all the participating Air Forces. It also enables the operators to understand each other's capability. Exercise Garuda continues to enhance & cement the close military ties between the Indian and the French Air Forces.

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