In a befitting ceremony at Air Headquarters, Air Marshal JN Burma, Air Officer-in-charge Administration (AOA) flagged off a six member mountaineering expedition team as a part of mission Seven Summit now ready to climb Mt Elbrus (5633m) in Europe and Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Africa. Handing over the tri-colour and the IAF flag to the team leader Wing Commander RC Tripathi, Air Marshal Burma, he wished them all success and safe return.
The six member team of the expedition include Sqn Ldr Namit Rawat, Sqn Ldr GP Kumar, Sqn Ldr D Panda, JWO NR Choudhary VM and Sgt J Singh, who will participate in the expedition planned from 09 Aug to 04 Sep 10. All the climbers have undertaken many expeditions in Himalaya region and have vast experience of climb to their credit. IAF today is in the forefront in the field of mountaineering besides having supremacy in the skydiving sport.
With an aim to create a world record by hoisting the Indian Tricolor and IAF flag on “Top of all highest peaks of each continent” the IAF mountaineering team has already summated the highest mountain peak in the world Mt Everest, Asia in May 2005, Mt Carstensz Pyramid (4,884m), Australasia in Jan 2009, Mt Aconcagua (6962m), South America in Mar 2010 and Mt Denali (6194m) in North America in May 2010.
The IAF ‘Mission Seven Summits’, to climb all the highest peaks of all the continents was conceptualized after the successful ascent of Mt Everest in 2005 by IAF. The project is being conducted under the aegis of Directorate of Air Force Adventure, the apex body looking after various adventure activities like sky diving, para gliding, Paramotor, mountaineering, skiing, trekking, white water rafting, sailing and mountain terrain biking etc.
The last peak as a part of mission seven summit would be attempted in December is Mt Vinson Massif (ANTARTICA).