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SSS Flight 141

The crest depicts an early bird. The flamingo flying over the sea as the sun rises over the Arabian sea. The flamingo is a large beautiful bird, white in colour with brilliant pink on its wings. It is a native of Gulf of Kutch and is found in large numbers in this area.

The sun rising over the Gulf of Kutch depicts the vast area of our operation over land and sea and our constant readiness for any task at the break of dawn.

"Friend in need is a friend indeed" is the motto of 141 SS Flt and aptly describes the various roles performed by the flamingos.

In the very year of its inception, the flight carried out troop induction for the army, airlifting 54 troops in September 1975. During 1976, the Flamingos carried out supply dropping missions to various marooned villages in the flood-affected areas of Saurashtra. The next year, the flight carried out flood relief operations at Trichirapalli and Vijaywada. Two exercises 'Jagte Raho' and `Hand Grip' were witness to our participation.

Three helicopters took part in the Fire Power Demonstration at Tilpat range and carried out numerous missions. Unit participated in day and night exercise 'Pouncing Panther' and other mock battles such as 'Desert Hawk' and 'Sand Grouse' in 1978. During 1979, the aid to civil power was provided by way of flood relief operations in Rajasthan. The following year marooned villagers of Junagadh were provided succor by means of dropping of food packets.

In August 1981, the MI-4 helicopters were replaced by the Chetaks. The Golden Jubilee of the Indian Air Force saw three of the unit's helicopters masked like elephants flying for the Golden Jubilee function. During 1983, Chief Minister of Gujrat Mr. Madavsing Solanki and other officials could have a bird's eye view of flood affected areas of Porbander Junagadh. Flying the Chetaks with floats over the sea was successfully tried out in 1983. Aircrews were converted for sea operations in December 1983. Helicopters operated to and from the oil rig TRITON-II and took part in a war game 'YUDHABHYYAS'. The years 1985 to 1987 saw the flight committed to special duties including internal security for Government of Gujrat at Ahmedabad during the same year.

The unit called upon to participate in the final phase of de-induction of the IPKF under the code name 'OP PUSPHAK'. Two aircraft detachment was operated from Naval Air Station Tamnad from 7 March to 30 March 1990. The detachment was entrusted with the responsibility of providing search and rescue facilities ex-Ramnad in the general area North of Adam's bridge (Yankee) and area South of Adam's bridge (Zulu) upto a distance of 50 NM. Ramashwaram. This operation was to be carried out in conjunction with the Indian Navy which had developed SAR ships- one off coast Triconamalle and other of Jaffna coast. The JOR located at Madras coordinated the launching and recovery of such missions.

The Flamingos were awarded the trophy for best 'Chetak unit in SWAC' in the Ex-Ranvijay which was held in December 1996.

In June 1998 a devastating cyclone hit Jamnagar which once again gave the Flamingos an opportunity to prove their mettle and they did it even in the most difficult environment. They swung into action for flood relief sorties and aerial recces for those involved with flood relief operations.

The unit maintains SAR detachment in various bases and stands by for other mercy missions as when called for.




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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:44:06 ZULU