Army Aviation Corps
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In 1986 the "Air Observation Post" units were transferred from the Air Force to the Army to form the Army Aviation branch. Using nine helicopter squadrons, Army Aviation has supported ground units in the Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir and in Sri Lanka, as well as counterinsurgency operations in various parts of the country. Army Aviation has also participated in disaster relief. Apart from its nine squadrons of helicopters, the army had eight air observation squadrons and six antitank/transport squadrons. It relies on the air force for air support, lift capabilities, and air supply.
This fledgling arm of the Indian Army is headed by an Additional Director General of the rank of Major General at the Army headquarters. The pilots for Army Aviation are being drawn from all arms.
The ability to observe deep into the enemy area has always been one of the quintessential pre-requisites of warfare and 20th century saw a major revolution in warfare when the advent of airpower added a third dimension to the battlefield on land and in sea. Building from those days, Army Aviation Corps, the youngest Corps in the Indian Army has notched up an enviable record of successes, awards and decorations. It is an amalgamation of diverse influence and traditions of the 'Aviation' and the 'Army'. The motto 'Suveg Va Sudrid' clearly narrates the daily ongoing epic of Army Aviation's ceaseless operational involvement across diverse terrains, in contrasting weather and climatic conditions in a variety of difficult situations. Nothing describes the omnipotence of Aviation's reach and presence better than it's ubiquitous round the clock application in the present day context. To add to this are the inborn demands of the environment as Aviation requires enormous reserves of physical, mental and moral stamina. The men and machines, of the Army Aviation Corps, have done yeoman service during the two major wars and innumerable missions of mercy in peace time for which they have earned accolades far out of proportion to their small numbers.
As of 2005 the new Army Aviation Plan envisioned setting up aviation brigades at Corps and Command Headquarters and making strike formations leaner with their own attack, surveillance and special operations helicopters. The Aviation Corp planned to induct a new generation of helicopters, special operations squadrons, mounting of electronic and surveillance systems on choppers and induction of health and usage monitoring choppers.
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