Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, awarded the President’s Standard to the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron, also known as the Killers Squadron of the Indian Navy, at a ceremonial parade at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. A special day cover and a commemorative stamp produced by the postal department were released to mark the occasion.
The ceremony was attended by Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra, Admiral R Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command and several other civilian and military dignitaries.
The 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron is based at Mumbai and comprises missile vessels Prabal, Pralaya, Nashak, Nishank, Vipul, Vibhuti, Vinash and Vidyut.
The Killers Squadron traces its genesis to the 1971 War when Osa I class missile boats, newly inducted into the Indian Navy from the erstwhile USSR, participated in Operations Trident and Python that were decisive in enabling the Indian Navy dominate operations in the Arabian Sea. The attacks on Pakistan naval units and Karachi harbour during the two operations effectively nullified the Pakistan Navy’s war-waging potential and earned these missile vessels the sobriquet ‘Killers’.
The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the victory in 1971 War and is also the 50th year of the Killers Squadron. The Squadron remains at the forefront of India’s seaward defence on the Western seaboard.
The President’s Standard ceremony witnessed an immaculately conducted ceremonial parade that began with the naval armed guard presenting a salute of arms to the President and was followed by the presentation of the Standard. The ceremony concluded with a Continuity Drill performance by naval personnel and an operational demonstration by MARCOS and naval helicopters.