Sam and his favourite C-in-C


Saturday 0900 Hours.

Dagger Flights.

Second detail was down and while the T R S was in progress the aircrew are on the mini lawn enjoying a superb breakfast courtesy of Pillay the chef.

Bindra asks Sam how the plans for the evening are shaping.

Sam replies assembly at 2000 Hours behind the Mess on the Parking lot covered squares. Music/Game meat/Drinks/entertainment /merriment/dancing are the order of the evening.

Bindra replies  with his famous “ HOE JAAIY “.

The black ambassador with all the stars and flag stops in front and out emerges R.S. He asks Bindi to step out with him and takes him out of earshot.

He asks Bindi how many aircraft are being turned around.

The reply is 12.

R.S. whispers in his ear that a terrible dust storm ( ANDHI ) is about to hit Jodhpur airfield in 45 minutes with gale force winds reaching 150 KMPH.

Bindi does a 360 degree scan and sees only blue skies.

Bindi realizes that R.S. has had a private conversation with the weather GODS and so he tells R.S. he will take tie down action immediately.

R.S. knocks Bindi for a loop and orders him to get airborne in 30 minutes in three formations of 4 aircraft each.

At the end of the sortie all aircraft are to divert and land at Utarlai airfield. He tells Bindi that he will inform A T C that the 12 aircraft are on a secret mission on his orders.

R.S. then informs Bindi the time of day and says he is on 30 minutes as of now.

Bindi yells at Danny and Sam and says grab three pilots each and he grabs three. He tells them 4 aircraft formations in three sectors and at the end of the sortie land at Utarlai.

Briefing is done on the move and the last pilot left on the ground is asked to collect lay over gear for the 12 pilots. The tech officer is asked to bring the tech support by road with the full complement of ground equipment.

All aircraft get airborne in 20 minutes and do some beat ups  along the way and land at Uterlai.

The aircraft are parked on the dispersal with the parking brakes on.

The seats are made safe and the pilots slide over the canopies and shut them.They jump down and place bricks and stones around the tires.

Soon a jeep comes tearing down the taxi track with a Pilot Officer at the wheel. He is the Base Commander. He is told that it is an activation and to get cracking.

Jodhpur is informed of the landing.

The progress of the tech crew is informed on an hourly basis by the squadron at Jodhpur.

Soon four  jeeps arrive with two shot guns and two boxes of cartridges.

Hunting parties with Danny/Alu/Cherry/Sam set out and bag partridges and sand grouse.

The Bunker crew room is opened but the air conditioners do not work.

The M E S is asked to fix them Hubba-Hubba.

The temperature is really hot and so all crew strip down to basic underwear and get a sauna bath.

Air conditioners start working and two bath tubs full of ice and beer arrive.

Two cooks  arrive and the kitchen is fired up.

The orders are given for tents to be set up and full kitchen facilities for the ground party is organized.

The waiting begins and the crew soon tire of playing card games. Cat naps are taken on chairs and as the sun goes down all move out doors.

Outside lighting and generators are set up.

Dinner is made ready for the expected ground crew.

Two water bowsers are positioned and make shift washing/bathing facilities are set up.

The ground party arrives late at night. They are greeted with pomp and glory and fed.

Soon the T R S is carried out on all aircraft under flood lights.

By first light all 12 aircraft are ready to go.

The ground crew request Bindi to take off as early as possible so that they can start back immediately.

The pilots are peeved to be the puppets/toys of R. S.

Bindi briefs for a saturation raid over C-IN-C’S residence.

Three formations get airborne in 30 second intervals.

R.S. is fast asleep and is dreaming of his next promotion and how he would change the whole I A F when 12 aircraft attack his house at Flag Staff level.

The rejoin peel off and landing is uneventful.

The 12 pilots do a bomb burst home to shower and take the grime of the desert off.

The S.M.O. has to do an emergency house call as R.S. is suffering from Heart  Murmur / Hypertension / High and Low blood pressure / The shakes.

Monday morning at the flights it is   S . N . A . F . U .


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