Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya
, the largest ship in the Navy and the country’s only aircraft carrier was formally affiliated to The Bihar Regiment, a highly decorated and battle hardened Infantry Unit of the Indian Army
and the No. 6 Squadron of the Indian Air Force
that specializes in maritime strike operations and operates the Jaguar fighter aircraft.
The historic affiliation ceremony commenced with an inspection of the Tri-Service Guard of Honour by the senior officers of the three services. The gathering was then addressed by the Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. In his welcome address, Admiral RB Pandit spoke of the importance of the affiliation and its relevance in the present day. The Admiral highlighted that the idea behind the affiliation was to foster espirit-de-corps and friendship between the three units that would lead to greater synergy and jointmanship between the three services and would also promote interaction between personnel of the three services and their families.
The formal association between the three units commenced with the reading of the ‘Charter of Affiliation’. The aims of the affiliation and the association that the affiliated units were to maintain were listed in the ‘Charter of Affiliation’. Thereafter, the ‘Charter of Affiliation’ was signed by the Commanding Officers of the three units and by senior officers from respective services representing the unit. This was followed by an exchange of mementoes between the three units. The highlight of the event was an impressive flypast by aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm. The flypast was led by a formation of Chetak helicopters followed by formation of MiG-29K fighters
of the INAS 303 squadron from the Goa based Naval Air Station, INS Hansa.
The ‘raison d’etre’ of affiliation between units of fighting forces is to act as a force multiplier by promoting better understanding of each other’s strengths and ultimately serves to maximise the combat potential of the Indian Armed Forces at the time of reckoning. It also fosters a deep understanding of each other’s service ethos, customs, traditions and sharing of new operational concepts and the same is aptly described in the affiliation motto ‘Victory through Jointness’.
The ceremony was held on board INS Vikramaditya in the Karwar Naval Base.