No. 24 Squadron IAF

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No. 24 Squadron
Crest of 24 Squadron.jpg
Active 16 February 1962- Present
Country India Republic of India
Branch  Indian Air Force
Role Fighter
Garrison/HQ Bareilly AFS
Nickname(s) "Hawks"
Motto(s) Navijitya Nivartanam
No return without Conquest
Insignia
Identification
symbol
A Flying Hawk
Aircraft flown
Attack de Havilland Vampire
Folland Gnat
Su-30MKI

No. 24 Squadron (Hawks) IAF, is an Air Defence squadron of the Indian Air Force, operating from Bareilly AFS.[1]

History[edit]

The squadron was raised at AFS Chabua, on 16 February 1962, as an Air Defence and Reconnaissance unit.[2][1]

Indo-China War of 1962[edit]

During the 1962 Indo-China War, the squadron, equipped with Vampires, and was tasked to fly Combat Air Patrols over Assam. Alongside these, the squadron had to fly recon missions in some of the narrowest and most treacherous valleys in the area, to facilitate the supply drops carried out by Dakotas. The squadron also carried out COIN operations in the north-east.[1]

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965[edit]

The squadron saw considerable action during this war. It operated from AFS Kalaikhunda, in West Bengal, tasked with providing Close Air Support to the ground units in the Eastern Sector. It continued for the first few days of the war, and then relocated to Barrackpur, from where it launched daylight strikes over vital targets, most of which were in hostile weather conditions. During the latter part of the war, the Hawks flew Combat Air Patrol in Gorkhapur Sector.[1]

After the War[edit]

After the war, the IAF embarked on its modernisation programme, and the Hawks were chosen to be equipped with Folland Gnats. By the end of the year 1966, the squadron had achieved total operational capability with Gnats. During this period the squadron pilots and technicians underwent lots of training and retraining alongside several other squadrons.[1]

Bangladesh Liberation War[edit]

In 1971, the Hawks were operating from Tezpur AFS. On 2 December, the squadron received a message to move to Kumbhighram Sector in Assam, to provide CAS to ground troops in Eastern India, against heavily defended positions. Within six days of the war, the squadron had flown several sorties attacking enemy gun positions and vital target systems in Brahmbaria, Maulavi bazaar, Munch bazaar, Sylhet, Kalaura, Narainganj, Dolanganj and Mainwati. The squadron was also the first of the IAF to provide air cover to helilift operations.[1]

Recent years[edit]

The squadron has been equipped with a variety of aircraft in the past, the most recent being, the Su-30MKI. In various inter-squadron training exercises, the squadron has won various trophies.[1]

Awards[edit]

  • Nirmal Singh Jamwal, VM (Devotion to Duty)
  • Umesh Rakhra, VM (Devotion to Duty)
  • Kothapalli Venkata Rama Raju, VM (Devotion to Duty)[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "No 24 Squadron(Hawks)". Indian Air Force Units. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Squadrons and Helicopter Units". Indian Air Force Units. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Awards for 24 Squadron". Retrieved 30 July 2012.