Winners of the “The Graviner Spirit of the Meet Trophy” at RIAT- (L to R) Sqn Ldr Garg, Flt Lts - Gera, Panwar and Mishra pose ahead of a Su-30 MKI at RIAT
IAF WINS SPIRIT OF THE MEET TROPHY AT RIAT
RAF Fairford (UK): July 15, 2007
Winning ways come easily to the young Rhinos of No. 30 Squadron. It was not just friends they were winning over from air arms around the world at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), held over the weekend at Fairford. They also won the challenging - BAE Systems "The Graviner Spirit of the Meet Trophy". Wing Commander AK Bharti, Commanding Officer of the Squadron received the trophy at a special gala dinner hosted at RIAT. It was presented by Mr. Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Military Air Solutions, BAE Systems. The glittering trophy comes close on the heels of the best static display award, won by the IAF contingent at the Waddington International Air Show, held a fortnight earlier in UK.
The youthful quartet of Squadron Leader PK Garg (Team Leader) and Flight Lieutenants, S Mishra, M Gera and R Panwar, Su-30 MKI pilots all from the Pune-based, No. 30 Squadron, were winners of the trophy awarded to the crew making the most outstanding contribution to the success of The Meet, states their citation emblazoned on the silver trophy.
Squadron Leader Garg explained that the daylong competition comprised 12 groups with four members each, who had to participate in a series of challenging physical competitions such as an obstacle course, group tasks, walk-in-the-water, shooting competition, first-aid treatment and aircraft recognition. "Apart from our peak fitness levels and competitive spirit, perhaps what really appealed to all others and the organizers was our camaraderie with all participants, who found the spirit of us Indians very nice and endearing," said Garg. "We made good friends with the French Air Force team who are thoroughly impressed with our IAF. They are aware of our other joint operations with USAF and their very own. We are very friendly and highly professional, they say" - he stated after having competed at the meet with aircrews from France, RAF, Jordan, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Netherland, Belgium, Italy to name a few.