City-based helicopter repair unit to get Presidential Colours

In a first for the Chandigarh-based 3 base repair depot (BRD)- the unit which is the biggest facility in the country for repairing MI-17 helicopters and AN-12 aircrafts - it has been approved for the Presidential Colour.

President Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to bestow the honour on the unit in March in the city. Sources said that Defence Minister A K Antony, Punjab Governor, Shivraj Patil, and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, are also scheduled to be a part of the ceremony. Sources add that a retinue of top officials including, those from the President's secretariat and Defence Ministry will attend the ceremony. Among the officials who will join the event include the Military Secretary to the President, Deputy Military Secretary, Joint Secretary and Secretary to President, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Defence Secretary, Secretary Defence Production and Secretary Defence Finance.

According to sources, the Chandigarh-based BRD and the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME) will be bestowed with the honours. The Chandigarh-based BRD has made elaborate arrangements for the Presidential Colour that will be given to it, sources said, adding that this is coming in the wake of the overall performance of the defence unit since its establishment.

"This will be for the first time that the BRD will get the rare honour of the Presidential colour," sources said, adding that "this is coming in the wake of recognisable services by the institute."

The presentation of the Presidential Colour by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces is in recognition of the services rendered by the BRD and is in line with the practice started by the British to give the King and Queens colours to the regiments.

President Mukherjee is likely to visit the city between March 12 to 15, though the exact date of the event is being finalised. On the occasion, sources said that a fly past will also be held and the arrangements have been finalised by the Air Headquarters. The Air Headquarters and the 3-BRD have set up committees for making preparations.

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