President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday gave away prestigious ‘President Standards’ awards to ‘49 Squadron’ and ‘107 Helicopter’ units of the Indian Air Force for their remarkable contribution in various wars and playing a crucial role in natural calamities and humanitarian crisis.

In her address here during the ceremonial parade, Ms. Patil said strong defence and effective deterrence are essential to sustain peace and no nation can ever prosper without its borders being secure.

She said as a nation we are firmly committed to peace but will not hesitate to take steps to protect our borders.

“Very often, the IAF has contributed beyond its call of duty like during natural calamities. The helicopter and transport aircraft of the IAF are amongst the first to respond,” she said.

Expressing her pleasure on the occasion, she said both these units —- 49 Squadron, stationed at Zorhat (Assam) and 107 Helicopter, stationed at Jodhpur (Rajasthan) - have a rich tradition of valour and distinguished service to the nation.

On this occasion, the President also released the commemorative cover for both the units. The parade was followed by a unique and breathtaking display of drill by the air warrior drill team and fly past by a variety of aircraft like MiGs, Jaguars and Sukhois.

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