UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN UNIKOM (KUWAIT)
BAF started its journey in UN peace keeping operation with the deployment of BANAIR contingent in UNIKOM (Kuwait) on 22 September 95. The deployment of BANAIR-1 was an important event since this was the first of its kind for BAF There were seventeen personnel in the first group along with one helicopter in Kuwait. The service provided by BANAIR-1 was highly appreciated by the UN authority and recommended the extension of contract of BANAIR to make a long term contract with BAF for the service in UNIKOM. Finally, the strength of BANAIR was increased to 40 with the inclusion of a Mission Aviation Safety officer and 04 other fire fighting crew. BANAIR continued its operation in UNIKOM till the outbreak of Iraq war on 22 March 03. The service of BANAIR contingent was recognised by UN as a role model of UN Air operation for their performance and safe flying records. So far, Bangladesh Air Force detailed 73 x officers, 185 x airmen and 23 x civilians in this mission.
BAF contingent was deployed on 09 July 03 with an Aviation Unit and an Air field Support Unit (ASU) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for UN peace keeping operation named as MONUC under chapter VII. The units were deployed in the north-eastern Congo at Bunia. It may be mentioned that it was for the first time in the history of BAF that such a large contingent was deployed abroad on wet lease meaning that the contingent ought to sustain itself independently without outside support. Air Field Support Unit is tasked to provide services for the sustenance of Bunia airfield and the Aviation Unit is primarily responsible for providing air support to the troops in the area of responsibility. The contingent has 05xMi-17 helicopters in its inventory. The Major activities currently performed by the Air field support unit encompass air traffic control, flight following service, meteorological forecast, cargo and passenger handling, security check of military personnel and cargo, crash fire and rescue, marshalling and towing of all UN flights. These wide ranges of activities are efficiently handled by the ASU. As such, the unit has received `Letter of Appreciation’ from the MONUC authority in recognition. It is worth mentioning that ASU provided services to more than 9000 flights which bears the testimony to the true professional commitment of all personnel of ASU.