Sainik Samachar Report – September 2001
Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis, Chief of Air Staff recently inaugurated the Air Force Museum, "The Heritage", at Jodhpur. Mrs Molina Tipnis, President, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFFWA), Air Marshal VK Bhatia, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, South Western Air Command (SWAC), Mrs Sunita Bhatia, President AFWWA (Regional) were also present on the occasion.
Speaking at the function, the Chief of Air Staff said that the rich heritage of Jodhpur and Air Force was interlinked. He stressed that every facet of heritage should be included in the museum.
"The Heritage" traces the history of aviation at Jodhpur dating back to 1931, its contributions in various wars, its glory and its achievements. The museum is divided into five sections namely Bygone Era, Present Era, Aviation Era, 1971 Era and Gandhinagar Era. It has an impressive display of varieties of aircraft, missiles, armaments and aviation stores.
With the shifting of HQSWAC to Gandhinagar on May 1, 1998, the Command House at Jodhpur had become vacant. Air Marshal VK Bhatia decided to rededicate the Command House Jodhpur as Air Force Museum, in March this year.
As one enters the museum complex a Sukhoi-7(S-22), a Russian missile system Dvina-SAM-II and Marut (HF-24) meet the eye. The 'collage' in the verandah has been very imaginatively done up with unserviceable parts of aircraft.
The 'Bygone Era' traces the journey of aviation at Jodhpur from 1931, after the establishment of Jodhpur Flying Club by Maharaja Umaid Singh. This is a tribute to the vision of the Maharaja Umed Singh whose keen love for aviation resulted in an Air Force Station at Jodhpur.
‘Present Era’ traces the history of the squadrons operating from Jodhpur. ‘Aviation Era’ recalls the voyage from Tiger Moth to SU-30 with special emphasis on aviation era of Jodhpur. ‘1971 Era’ recalls the Battle of Longewala besides some of the finest moments of Indian Air Force during 1971 operations. ‘Gandhinagar Era’ transports one to HQ SWAC Gandhinagar, its beginning and its development.
Also on display in the museum are mementoes of various squadrons and aviation equipment including guns and bombs. In the rear lawn, on display is HT-2, the trainer used by Air Force to train their pilots. The histories of the museum, HQ SWAC, 32 Wing and various Air Force units are also displayed. Photographs of many visiting dignitaries, Chiefs of Air Staff and various events are also neatly displayed. Thus, one gets a feeling of travelling through the past and reaching the present.
input : Lt Col(Dr) A K Janardhanan From Sainik Samachar