At an impressive Passing-out Parade (POP) held at the Naval Air Station
Rajali, Arakkonam on June 16. To mark
the graduation of the 17-01 Helicopter Conversion Course (Pilot) course wherein
11 Naval Pilots were awarded “Wings”.
Rear Admiral Mukul Asthana Director
General Project Varsha, Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) was
the Chief Guest for the occasion.
The pilots underwent rigorous training for 21 weeks in flying and aviation
subjects at Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the Helicopter Training School
(HTS). Commanded by Captain Rajan
Kapoor, HTS has graduated 682 Pilots for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard till
The school was initially commissioned at Kochi on 15 September 1971 and in
1992 shifted to the present location at INS Rajali at Arakkonam. Commanded by
Commodore VK Pisharody, INS Rajali is the largest operational air base of the
Indian Navy which has celebrated its Silver Jubilee in March this year.
After the ceremonial review, the Chief Guest awarded the Governor of Kerala
Rolling Trophy to Lieutenant Commander Rahul Verma for being adjudged as the
Best All Round Trainee Pilot.
The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy
was given to Lieutenant Subham Sahlot for standing first in order of Merit. A
book prize was also awarded to Lieutenant Commander Nikhil Chugh for standing
first in ground subjects.
graduated pilots will subsequently join operational flights at Goa, Kochi,
Mumbai, Port Blair and Vizag.