Berhampur: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday handed over the prestigious President's Colours Award to the Corps of Army Air Defence at Gopalpur in Odisha's Ganjam district.
The President's Colours Award is the highest military honour for an armed forces organisation. This award is given in recognition of exceptional service rendered by to the nation, both during peace and hostile.
The President was presented the Rashtriya salute at the commencement of an impressive parade led by the contingent.
In his address, he recalled the glorious legacy of the Indian Armed Forces in protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation in general and the Corps of Army Air Defence in particular.
The occasion was attended by senior officers and civil dignitaries. Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Odisha Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal.
During World War II, the Air Defence troops participated in various operations like Burma campaign, Siege of Imphal and Kohima, recapture of Rangoon, operations in Arakans, Myitkiyina, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaya, Bahrain, Iraq and Persia and won multiple gallantry awards namely four Military Crosses, one Medal of the British Empire, seven Indian Distinguished Service Medals and two Orders of the British Empire, said sources.
The Air Defence has been in existence since 1940 as a part of Corps of Artillery however, as an independent arm, it got recognition in 1994. The Corps of Army Air Defence has been awarded with two Ashok Chakras, two Kirti Chakras, 20 Vir Chakras, nine Shauryas Chakras, 113 Sena Medals and 55 Mention-in-Despatches in addition to four Honour Titles awarded during 1971 Indo-Pak war.