The parachute regiment is a very important part of the Indian Army. The first regiment was created as part of the British Army during WWII. Today, the Indian Army has 19 parachute regiments attached to different wings of the Indian Army. OEFHZ is dedicated ECAD parachutes defence supplies factory which provides parachutes and other equipment that are made totally in India. If you want to know more about this very important brigade of the Indian Army, here are some interesting facts about them.
- The first unit was created in October of 1941, with three parachute battalions under it. Col. A.G. Rangaraj (who was lieutenant then) was part of the Indian Medical Service, and an RMO was one of the first Indians to airdrop using a parachute.
- After the partition in 1947, the headquarters for the airborne division or the parachute division and two of the three existing brigades were retained in India, while one brigade was handed over to Pakistan. Among the two, the 77th Parachute Brigade was disbanded, and the remaining 50th Parachute brigade is still part of the Indian Army. From the first Indo-Pak war of 1947 to the Kargil War in 1999, this brigade has performed valorous service for the country. They, along with the 17th Indian Infantry division, played a decisive role in the Liberation of Goa in 1961.
- Answering the call of the UN in 1950, India sent 60 Parachute Field Ambulance units to South Korea when North Korea attacked it. India did not participate militarily in this UN mission but provided medical help to the military units assigned by different countries. The unit also looked after North Korean POWs and was very popular with the civilians who were provided medical help by them. They were called “The Angels in Brown Beret” after the iconic reddish-brown beret. The unit was led by Lt. Col. A.G. Rangaraj, mentioned above. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his role in Korean War when the unit returned in 1954. The South Korean government also felicitated him as one of the War Heroes, and his selfless service is taught in South Korean schools.
- As for the history of the parachute supplies factory, the first one was established in 1941 in Kanpur. Today, many factories are supplying the ECAD Parachutes Defence products.