Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), 16th December 2022: Central Air Command of Indian Air Force is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee from 02 Dec to 18 Dec 22 on completion of 60 years. The Command takes pride in its rich tradition of valour, readiness, professionalism and service to the nation.
Central Air Command Headquarters was established in Jun 1963 at Rani-Kutir in Calcutta. Its area of responsibility included UP, Bihar and other Central Indian regions. Headquarters Central Air Command was then shifted to Bamrauli, Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad) in Feb 1966.
Prayagraj was more strategically located than Calcutta and is equidistant from the units in the West, as well as in the East, and sufficiently in depth from the international borders. Air Force Station Bamrauli, which is co-located with HQ CAC, was earlier a civil airfield. After shifting of HQ CAC to Prayagraj, this airfield became a transport base of IAF, housing a Squadron of Packet aircraft. Bamrauli is not only one of the oldest airfields in the country, but also has a couple of firsts in aviation history. Within 8 years of the first historic flight by Wright brothers on 17 Dec 1903 at Kitty Hawk, Prayagraj also carved for itself a place in world aviation history when on 18 Feb 1911 Henry Piquet, a French pilot, took off in his de Havilland Humber bi-plane from this base carrying the first airmail of the world.
The area covered by Central Air Command (CAC) starts from the snow capped Himalayas in the north, through the Gangetic plains and ends in the central highlands.
Since its inception, CAC has built up an enviable war record. This Command has been home to all the vital strategic squadrons, which have consistently brought laurels to the Indian Air Force. The Indo-Pak conflicts during 1965 & 1971 and Kargil War in 1999 saw great deeds by the squadrons of CAC. CAC has consistently lived upto its expectations in various operations be it Op Pawan, Op Cactus or Op Safed Sagar.
The role of CAC has evolved over the years to include synergy with surface forces, peace time operations during natural calamities and aid to civil administration. This Command has carved a niche for itself by establishing its prominence in technological advancements by participating in various exercises in and out of the country. Ex-GARUDA with French Air Force, Ex-COPE India & Ex-RED Flag with US Air Force, COPE Thunder at Alaska, Ex-Golden Eagle with South Africa, Ex-SINDEX with Singapore Air Force, Ex-Indradhanush with Royal Air Force, Ex-Eastern Bridge with OMAN to name a few. CAC has recently conducted Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise “Samanvay 2022” in the month of November at Air Force Station in Agra.
CAC has had an awesome inventory of aircraft i.e Devons, Liberators, Packet, GNAT, Vampire, Dakota, Canberras, Bell G2 & G3m, Su-7 & Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage-2000, MiG series of ac, AVRO, AN-12 & AN-32, IL-76 & IL-78 MKI, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-4 & Mi-8, AWACS, Kiran Mk-II and ALH. Aircrafts in its present inventory are capable of seeking, engaging and destroying any target as and when the call of duty demands. In addition, CAC is also equipped with various Air Defence Radars and Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) which have boosted the operational capability of the India Air Force manifold.
The spirit of CAC is to meet the challenges successfully when it comes to national calamities like earthquake, flood and drought. CAC is most instrumental in relief operations in such calamities. Its professional skill, devotion and commitment has many a time been appreciated not only in India but acclaimed worldwide. Whether it is flood relief in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Utter Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh or cyclones in Orissa, CAC has always been there in assistance of civil administration. Be it the Nepal, China earthquakes or the landslides in the Himalayas, CAC has been in the thick of rescue operations.
The Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association (AFWWA) has strived to enhance the quality of life of air warriors and their families within the camp. The AFWWA at CAC remains an apex welfare organisation touching the day-to-day lives of ties members in myriad ways. The main focus of this Association is on family welfare, rehabilitation, care of widows and special children. It also extends its services in the form of grants, packages, scholarships, Medicare etc to air warriors and their families. Besides these, various welfare oriented activities are also conducted by this organisation.
With its dedicated air warriors and state-of-the-art technology, Central Air Command of Indian Air Force is flying high with its motto “Damniyah Atma Shatrawah “.