Operational Conversion Unit


Date Raised : 1975-04-01 Disbanded : 2013-12-13 Location : Kalaikunda
On 1 October 1966 the IAF established its first Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Jamnagar with 24 Hunter aircraft (four trainers and 20 fighters) drawn from the six Hunter Mk.56 equipped squadrons, as was also the ground equipment and most of its human resources. The OTU was given a dual role: ‘training’ for which it came under HQ WAC at Palam and ‘operations’ for which it came under HQ WI (Western India) in Poona. Operational Conversion Units (OCU), The Young Ones’. The OCU was raised on 1st October 1966 at Jamnager with the Hunter F56A, and was initially known as the Operational Training Units (OTU). Its purpose was to ensure the smooth transition of young pilots from training into the front line squadrons. Its got its name because no matter how old the Units was, it would always have the youngest of fighter pilots in its ranks. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War it operated a four aircraft detachment from Jaisalmer and was temporarily known as 122 Squadron. On the 5th December 1971 a regiment of Pakistan Army T59 Tanks crossed the border near Tanot, with the aim of capturing Jaisalmer by sun down. Following a request to help from the Indian Army, the detachment destroyed or damaged 29 tanks in 48 hours. This action stopping the enemy advance in its tracks and earning the Units the battle honour of ‘Longewala’. The event was commemorated in the Bollywood Film, ‘Border’. During the 1971 War the OCU flew 256 sorties and apart from Longewala also carried out interdiction strikes against enemy railheads and counter air strikes against airfields and radar stations. Flying training resumed in February 1972 and in April 1975 the Units moved to Kalaikunda and was renamed the OCU. It was also for most of the 80s called HOFTU (Hunter Operational Flying Training Units). On 31st March 1991 the OCU was numberplated and all its assets were transferred to 20 Squadron. On 1st January 1998 it was resurrected at Chabua to implement the MOFT Syllabus on the MiG-21 FL/U. It moved out from Chabua to Kalaikunda in 2009. In December 2013 the OCU phased out MiG-21 FL's which it had been flying since 1998. Consequently OCU was numberplated. It was resurrected later as OCU A and OCU B to continue the role on the newly acquired AJT, Hawk
Unit previously existed as OTU

Commanding Officers

View in Grid

DatesRank & NameNumberRemarksLocationPhoto
Unknown to 01 Dec 77Wing Commander Sharad Narayan Medhekar5062 F(P)COKalaikunda
Unknown to 01 Dec 78Wing Commander Shiv Kumar Sharma5784 F(P)COKalaikunda
Unknown to 01 Dec 79Wing Commander Narendra Lal Gupta6013 F(P)COKalaikunda
22 Aug 80 to Group Captain Vishnu Narain Johri5676 F(P)COKalaikunda
Unknown to 29 Jun 86Group Captain Norbert Joseph Misquitta5314 F(P)COKalaikunda
30 Jun 86 to 27 Nov 88Group Captain Prakash Sadashivrao Pingale6755 F(P)COKalaikunda
28 Nov 88 to Group Captain Sushil Kumar Sangar7680 F(P)COKalaikunda
01 Jan 09 to 30 May 11Wing Commander Malliyakel Joseph Augustine Vinoth21819 F(P)COKalaikunda

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.