Mukhejee was addressing officers after presenting the Presidential Standards to 501 Signal Unit and 30 Squadron at the Air Force Station in Ambala in Haryana.
“Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we will use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. I am confident our valiant men and women in uniform will rise to the occasion to meet the challenges triumphantly.”
Mukherjee said India’s increasing eminence in the comity of nations also draws its strength from the ever-increasing capabilities of its armed forces.
The President said: “Our armed forces, exemplified by the air warriors who stand before us today, epitomise grit and determination in fulfilling their responsibilities by upholding the highest standards of service ethos.”
He said the Indian Air Force is the cutting edge of our nation’s military might.
Since their inception, both 501 Signal Unit and 30 Squadron have distinguished themselves in the service of the nation with honour, Mukhejee said.
“In recognition of their selfless devotion, professionalism and dedication to service, the nation honours them today with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation.”
The 501 signal unit has completed 52 years in the service to the nation. The unit has been a pioneer in air defence in the northern region since its inception as an Air Defence Ground Station at Barnala in Punjab and performed its role both in peace and war.
The 30 Squadro’ or ‘Rhinos’ was formed on November 1, 1969, in Tezpur in Assam. It was then equipped with the MiG-21 FL aircraft. Whether flying the MiG-21 or the formidable Sukhoi-30 MKI as at present, the squadron has an enviable operational record.
The President said he was confident these units will continue to strive for excellence with professional zeal and serve the nation selflessly in the years to come.