To honor the extensive effort to support Indians overseas throughout the course of the pandemic, India’s President and Chief Commander of Indian Armed Forces Ram Nath Kovind commended and applauded the Indian Navy for its participation in aiding the nation with its large-scale deep-sea Operation, Samudra Setu. President Kovind awarded Indian Naval Aviation Wing with Presidential Colour in recognition of its immense and gallant peacetime operations, according to The Hindu.
“A momentous day for the #IndianNavy as Shri #RamNathKovind, the Hon’ble President of India & the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces, presented the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation at INSHansa, Goa on 06 Sep 2021 (1/2),” the Indian Navy tweeted.
Operation Samudra Setu was a part of the larger Vande Bharat evacuation mission under which the Navy brought back distressed Indians living abroad, including around 4,000 stranded civilians from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Iran.
Speaking at the ceremony in Goa at INS Hansa — the Navy’s largest airbase of the western fleet — Kovind also praised the Navy for commissioning a large number of women for its aviation wing while explaining that such a trend needs to be encouraged further by the forces.
“The Indian Navy has invested significant effort in meeting all regional commitments and furthering our diplomatic engagements with friends and partners in the Indo-Pacific. With missions like Operation Samudra Setu and Mission Sagar, the Navy was a key instrument of India’s Covid outreach, delivering assistance and support to our maritime neighbors and partners in the Indian Ocean Region,” the president said. “The prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘preferred security partner and first responder in the Indian Ocean Region.”
The Award of the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation is given in recognition of Naval Aviation service, both during peace and combat. The arm came into being with the acquisition of the first Sealand aircraft on January 13, 1951, and the commissioning of INS Garuda at Kochi on May 11, 1953. The Indian Navy today operates a diverse scale of combat and surveillance aircraft, and the Naval Aviation Wing forms a core pillar of the Indian Navy’s Carrier Battle Group composed of MiG-29K fighter jets today.
In the ongoing ceremony, the Indian president was presented with a guard of honor parade, and other high officials of the Indian Navy were also present in the event, including Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Naval Chief of Staff with Goa’s Chief Minister.