Inter-Command Weapons Meet – Another View

By Gp Capt Ajit K Agtey (Retd)

Velu’s story has finally got me to type out the following piece. I had decided to stay silent as talking of it, would have amounted to blowing one’s own trumpet, BUT WHAT THE HELL, lets do it.

I am referring to the same Inter Commabd Weapons Meet of November 1972. Western Air Command had 4 Gnat squadrons, namely 2,9,18 and23. Each squadron had to depute one pilot for each event. For R/P WAC found a bunch of four young, aggressive Flying Officers. They were Parvez Khokhar (9 Sqn),VP Vadera (23 Sqn), VK Sharma (18 Sqn) and yours truly(2 Sqn). It would not be out of place to state that senior most team member had less than 4 years service and the junior most ie self had less than 3 years. The other two were in between.

The range was all time famous SIDHWANKHAS range and the base of operation was Halwara. On the due date we all gathered at Halwara and the practice sessions began. The other team members/leaders were legends like Mickey Jatar (Maruts), Godfrey Salins (Mig 21 F/G), Johnney Greene (Gnat Cine). The tail was brought up by us.

Halwara bar was as always the debrief centre, and we were generally being taught the finer points of R/P firing.

The format was, as already spelt out by Velu. The two best rockets of each member were to be assessed. The load we were carrying was 4, T-10s.

On the appointed day the team got airborne in copybook fashion and went and fired our load in total silence and returned. To cut a long story short the results were 16 DIRECT HITS. End of Story

That evening when we walked into the bar Mickey Jatar got up, shook us by the hand and said that it would be an honour for him to stand us a drink, as he had never seen scores of this kind.

The G- bird was a sheer delight to fly and was a very versatile weapons platform.

The team is still around Parvez is in Bangalore, Vady in Jet airways in Delhi, VK Sharma in corporate flying in Delhi and yours truly in Jet Airways in Bangalore. Looking forward to meeting up with all the stalwarts.

5 thoughts on “Inter-Command Weapons Meet – Another View”

  1. Dear Ajit ,
    Heartiest congratulations and well done to you and the other team members .
    In fact before writing the piece I was also thinking on similar lines . I resisted the temptation for more then a MONTH & HALF and then finally could resist no more!! But as you said WHAT THE HELL !Let it be the lasthurrah of a Gnat pilot .

  2. I am not from Gnats or Ajeet but 16 DH is really incredble.Well done. It reminds me of Inter Command Gunnery Meet Arjuna of 1972 with then Wg Cdr (later ACM)Kaul leading Bonny Mukherjee,Sqn Ldr Khashav and self on Hunters for a 2x25lbs Steep Glide bombs over DM Range. To blow one’s trumpet as Ajit puts it across, yours truly got 3 DH including the Sighter bomb. Sharp Shooting and Happy Landings to the Indian Air Force, Bingo Gokhale

  3. Dear Velu Sir,Ajit Sir,

    Mind if I join in.4XT-10s,all direct on my first ever Gnat live Sortie at SK in 77.Hurrah for the Gnats and all those who have achieved the same.
    (Hear the flourish of invisible trumpets)
    Arvind ‘Shorts’ Kumar

  4. Dear Mr Kumar if you have flown hunters then you must known pilot vk sharma of 17th sqn who was my younger brother he left IAF and went to germany and then usa since 1984 he has not contacted us By any chance you know him air marshal ajay karnik was his course mate and current chief iaf was also would like to hear about him if you have any news he had many friends eg Pannu ,nandjog ,boparai,sangwan rgrds ravi sharma

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