Government renames Panagarh airbase after former IAF Chief Arjan Singh
The Union Government has renamed Panagarh Air Force Base of Indian Air Force in West Bengal as ‘Air Force Station Arjan Singh’ in honour of the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh.
It was renamed on the occasion of 97th birthday of Arjan Singh. Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal C. Harikumar unveiled the rechristening plaque.
This is first time in India’s defence history, a military installations has been named after individuals, especially when they are alive.
About Arjan Singh
- Singh was born on April 15, 1919, in Lyalpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan). He had completed his education at Montgomery (now Sahiwal, Pakistan).
- He was selected to the Empire Pilot training course at RAF Cranwell at the tender age of 19 years. He had served on different positions in RAF during the British Rule.
- On August 15, 1947, he had achieved a unique honour of leading a fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.
- He had served as the IAF chief from August 1964 to 69. He was the first Indian Air Chief to be elevated to the rank of Air Chief Marshal in 1966.
- He had led the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the 1965 India-Pakistan war. He had launched IAF;s Operation Grand Slam that targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor of Pakistan.
- He retired in August 1969 and later was appointed as Ambassador of India to Switzerland. He also had served as Lieutenant Governor of New Delhi from 1989 to 1990.
- Awards and Honours: In recognition of his lifelong services, Union government conferred the rank of the “Marshal of the Indian Air Force” on him in 2002 making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer with the IAF.
- He was awarded Padma Vibhushan for his astute leadership of the Air Force during the India-Pakistan war.
Panagarh Air Force Base: It is one of the crucial Air Force Base in the eastern theatre. It is located in Burdwan district of West Bengal. It was constructed in 1944 during the World War II. It has played a significant role in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.