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


03 Apr 72 - 02 Dec 73
Wing Commander
Rajendra Dev Pant
4737 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

03 Dec 73 - 22 Feb 76
Wing Commander
Parm Jit Singh
4603 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

23 Feb 76 - 21 Aug 78
Wing Commander
Kevin Martin
5074 F(P)
CO


28 Aug 78 - 10 May 81
Wing Commander
Dinesh Chandra Kaushik
6353 F(P)
CO


11 May 81 - 17 Nov 83
Wing Commander
Khushindhar Singh Bindra
6863 F(P)
CO


18 Nov 83 - 30 Aug 86
Wing Commander
Harwant Singh Sekhon
9736 F(P)
CO


08 Sep 86 - 17 Jul 88
Wing Commander
Chandra Dutt Upadhyay
11336 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

18 Jul 88 - 29 Dec 91
Wing Commander
Dhiraj Kumar Sawhney
11874 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

30 Dec 91 - 17 Oct 93
Wing Commander
Arun Kumar Dharamdas Sonpar
13398 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

18 Oct 93 - 03 Jul 94
Wing Commander
Yashpal Singh
15013 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

04 Jul 94 - 15 Jul 97
Wing Commander
Anulya Chandra Bharali
15049 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

16 Jul 97 - 16 May 99
Wing Commander
Sandip Banerjee
15892 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

17 May 99 - 17 Jan 01
Wing Commander
Santosh Suresh Kothari
16788 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

18 Jan 01 - 10 Aug 03
Wing Commander
Vivek Suditakar Sawalkar
17468 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

11 Aug 03 - 08 May 05
Wing Commander
Subramaniam Ravi Vridhachalem
18101 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

09 May 05 - 03 Sep 06
Wing Commander
T K Verghese
18829 F(P)
CO
Guwahati

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.