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Central Air Command

Central Air Command is located at the historic city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This Command is one of the operational Commands of the Indian Air Force. The central Air Command motto is 'Damniya Atmashatrava' meaning 'Destruction of the enemy'. The Command has a multi-role responsibility in India's central region and is equipped with fighters, bombers, strategic recce, transport aircraft and helicopters.

The impetus behind the creation of Central Air Command lies in the felt need for an operational Command in the Central sector to keep the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Tibetan border under constant vigil. To achieve this goal Central Air Command Headquarters was established in March 1962 at Ranikutir in Calcutta. In February 1966, Headquarters of CAC was shifted to the more strategically located city of Allahabad. The "Bamrauli" airfield which is co-located with HQ CAC was earlier a civil airfield. After shifting of CAC to Allahabad, this airfield became a transport base of IAF housing a squadron of packet aircraft. Subsequently, 29 Wing was formed at this place.

Geographically, Central Air Command occupies the largest land mass having contiguous boundaries with Western Air Command, South Western Air Command, Southern Air Command and Eastern Air Command and Maintenance Command. The Area covered by central Air Command starts from snow peaked mountains in extreme north to the Gangetic plains and central highlands.

The CAC has Air Force stations under it at Agra, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Gwalior and Bamraulli. This Command also has Care & Maintenance units at Bihta, Dharbhanga, Bakshi-ka-Talab and Nagpur. Other units under this Command are located at Nainital, Tiwari-ka-Talab and Memaura. There is also an Air Force Selection board located at Varanasi.

The Organisation of CAC follows a three pronged approach with Air Officer Commanding in Chief at the helm of affairs. The Air Branch is responsible for all aspects related to operations. The maintenance Branch is responsible for the technical serviceability of aircraft and all technical equipment including vehicles and for providing logistic support. The Admin Branch takes care of the entire administrative aspects including housing, medical, educational and accounts facilities.

Squadrons of Central Air Command were actively involved in various operations since its formation, including the last two Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 and in Kargil operations of 1999. During 1961 "Liberation of Goa" campaign, Squadron 12 from CAC provided much required transport support to army and navy. During this operation Squadron 16 also carried out bombing on "Dabolim" airfield with its Canberra aircraft.

The Indo-Pak conflict during 1965 and 1971 saw great achievements for squadrons from CAC. Squadron 106 and Squadron 48 were involved in the famous "Tangail" drop of para Bn Gp 130 Km inside the Bangladesh during day time. In 1987-89 "Operation Pawan" was undertaken in Sri Lanka and Squadron 106 provided photo recce support for important concentrations of Tamil Rebel Camps.

The "Operation Cactus" was undertaken by this Command to quell military coup in Maldives. Squadron 106 flew 31 sorties, that helped tracking down the rebels.

During "Operation Safed Sagar" at "Kargil" in 1999, the Mirage squadrons of CAC proved their mettle. These squadrons carried out attacks on "Tiger Hill" and area around "Point 4388" during this conflict. During this conflict the photo recce squadron of MiG-25 aircraft provided photo recce support for many strategic targets.

The Command has a wide range of aircraft under it, like MIRAGE-2000, JAGUAR, MiG-21, MiG-25, Canberra, IL-76 and AN-32. CAC also possesses Chetak, Cheetah and MI-8 helicopters.

The Transport Squadron and helicopter units under Central Air Command have played a significant role during peace time. providing, among other things, flood relief and casualty evacuation. Helicopter Unit 105 carried out flood relief operation in 1998 for Bihar state where it airlifted 688 Tons of relief materials and 522 passengers. Helicopter Unit 11 rendered services for casualty evacuation in Garhwal and Kumaon region. The unit also played a significant role in casualty evacuation during "Malpa Landslide". CAC Transport squadrons also provided help towards cyclone relief in October and November 1999 for the state of Orissa and earthquake relief for the state of Gujrat in January 2001. During earthquake relief operations in Gujrat, the transport squadrons accumulated nearly 800 hrs of flying time and transported 2042,647 Kgs of relief material and 7,775 personnel.

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