No.118 Helicopter Unit Challengers

Motto : Apatsu Mitram (A friend in time of need)
Date Raised : 1971-11-22
The Units crest of 118 HU, AF "THE CHALLENGER" consists of three rotor blades superimposed over the mountain on top depicting snow clad mighty Himalayas and water on the bottom depicting the Brahamaputra river in all its glory. The scenario depicts the area of operations of 118 HU since inception (apart from the basic of VVIP/VIP, the Units also carries out Causality Evaluation as and when need arises). The Units has been operating into the far reaches of Himalayas doing Air Logistics in aid of the state government of Arunanchal Pradesh as well as the Indian Army deployed along the IB with neighboring China. Helicopters of the Units has been tasked with flood relief operation for the entire north east and has also undertaken extensive flood relief operations in the other parts of the country and the adjoining country of Bhutan. The Units was formed on 22 Nov 71 under the command of Wg Cdr RD Pant, VM, it was first Units to be equipped with the versatile MI-8 helicopters. The Units took an active part in IPKF operations in Srilanka in 1987. This Units has been providing assistance to civil authorities in entire North East, West Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. This being earmarked as a VIP Units, it has been involved in providing airlift to President, Vice President, Prime Minister of India and visiting foreign dignitaries on a number of occasions.

Commanding Officers

View in Grid

DatesRank & NameNumberRemarksLocationPhoto
03 Apr 72 to 02 Dec 73Wing Commander Rajendra Dev Pant4737 F(P)COGuwahati
03 Dec 73 to 22 Feb 76Wing Commander Parm Jit Singh4603 F(P)COGuwahati
23 Feb 76 to 21 Aug 78Wing Commander Kevin Martin5074 F(P)CO
28 Aug 78 to 10 May 81Wing Commander Dinesh Chandra Kaushik6353 F(P)CO
11 May 81 to 17 Nov 83Wing Commander Khushindhar Singh Bindra6863 F(P)CO
18 Nov 83 to 30 Aug 86Wing Commander Harwant Singh Sekhon9736 F(P)CO
08 Sep 86 to 17 Jul 88Wing Commander Chandra Dutt Upadhyay11336 F(P)COGuwahati
18 Jul 88 to 29 Dec 91Wing Commander Dhiraj Kumar Sawhney11874 F(P)COGuwahati
30 Dec 91 to 17 Oct 93Wing Commander Arun Kumar Dharamdas Sonpar13398 F(P)COGuwahati
18 Oct 93 to 03 Jul 94Wing Commander Yashpal Singh15013 F(P)COGuwahati
04 Jul 94 to 15 Jul 97Wing Commander Anulya Chandra Bharali15049 F(P)COGuwahati
16 Jul 97 to 16 May 99Wing Commander Sandip Banerjee15892 F(P)COGuwahati
17 May 99 to 17 Jan 01Wing Commander Santosh Suresh Kothari16788 F(P)COGuwahati
18 Jan 01 to 10 Aug 03Wing Commander Vivek Suditakar Sawalkar17468 F(P)COGuwahati
11 Aug 03 to 08 May 05Wing Commander Subramaniam Ravi Vridhachalem18101 F(P)COGuwahati
09 May 05 to 03 Sep 06Wing Commander T K Verghese18829 F(P)COGuwahati

Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.