President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday awarded the President’s Colour to the Indian Naval Aviation at INS Hansa in Goa, the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation, both in peace and in war.
“Naval aviation has contributed through numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, during which it has provided relief to fellow citizens like the recently conducted rescue operations off Mumbai during cyclone Tauktae in May 2021. It has also provided crucial assistance to several neighbouring countries and nations in the Indian Ocean Region,” Kovind said. A ceremonial parade with a 150-man guard of honour was presented before the President on the occasion. The Naval aviation started as a fledgling Fleet Requirement Unit with ten amphibian Sealand aircraft in 1953. While the Navy is often associated with the ships, the aviation wing has emerged as an integral part of the naval operations, both defensive and offensive in nature. Incidentally, the Indian Navy was the first amongst the three Services to be awarded the President’s Colour on 27 May 1951 by the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Subsequent recipients in the Navy include Southern Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Western Naval Command, Eastern Fleet, Western Fleet, Submarine Arm, INS Shivaji and the Indian Naval Academy, the Navy said.