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HISTORY

Eastern Air CommandWith the rapid expansion of the Indian Air Force during the fifties, the command and control structure needed to be reorganised. This reorganisation led to the formation of No 1 Operational Group at Calcutta on 27 May 1958. This group was responsible for the operations of the IAF in the eastern as well as the central sector of the country.

The threat perception arising due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet necessitated the formation of a Command that could effectively oversee the operations of the IAF in the eastern region of the country. With this primary aim, the No 1 Operational Group was upgraded to Eastern Air Command on 01 Dec 1959 at Calcutta. During the Indo-China Ccnflict of 1962, practical experience highlighted the difficulty of Kolkata being the location of Eastern Air Command. In order to have more effective operational control over the region of the north-east, the Command Headquarters was shifted to Shillong on 10 Jun 63. Initially, HQ Eastern Air command was housed in the old buildings located at Nonglyer village at upper Shillong.

As the legend goes, the Nonglyer Village, location of HQ Eastern Air Command, was once inhabited by Khasi clan of Meghalaya. During the second world war, this was taken over by the Bristishers to develop a military base. It came under the possession of Indian Army after the Bristishers left in 1947 and was occupied by No 58 Gorkha Regiment. The Regiment moved out for an operation in the Chinese border in 1962 and did not return to their cherished abode of Upper Shillong. As a result, the 31.33 acre tom-shaded location with helipad was available for the EAC.

In 1980, decision was taken to maintain Shillong as the permanent location of HQs EAC. Thus, Air Chief Marshal IH Latif, PVSM, the then Chief of the Air Staff laid the foundation stone of the present three storied building, facing south west, adjacent to the old location, on 13 Oct 1980. The impressive mansion of Head Quarters EAC was completed in 1991. On 16 January 1991, Air Chief Marshal SK Mehra, PVSM AVSM VM ADC, the then Chief of the Air Staff inaugurated the building. The building architected by M/S Bengal Trading Syndicate consists of 270 rooms and 4 halls with Central heating system. Even with modesty, it could be claimed that the Head Quarters EAC building is the most beautiful outfit in all over Air Force today.