The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has sought the return of its helicopter from the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) to make its own aviation wing operational. The border force has written to the home ministry, requesting it to take steps to return the helicopter, which was purchased in 1981, BGB sources said.
According to the BGB letter, there are 154 border outposts (BOPs), including 78 heli-supported ones in Chittagong Hill Tracts 9CHT. Another 61 BOPs would be set up in CHT.
Heli-support will be required to transport rations and other essentials to these border posts, and that is why at least two helicopters would be needed urgently, the letter added. The letter said, “At present, BAF helicopters were supporting the border force to ferry the required materials to the BOPs in CHT, though the BAF sometimes failed to provide helicopter support in time.” It also said the BGB is going to purchase two mid-level helicopters soon to make its aviation wing fully functional.
Talking to The Independent, BGB director general Maj. Gen. Aziz Ahmed said that they wanted the Air Force to return their helicopter so that the border force could start operating its aviation wing. “But, it will not possible to go into operation with a single helicopter, and we need a minimum of two helicopters," he added. "We will also invite tenders for the purchase of two helicopters for the BGB’s aviation wing after getting the required funds from the home ministry,” he said. The BGB chief also said the Armed Forces Division (AFD) and BAF authorities have agreed to the border force’s request to depute officers for operating the aviation wing.
At present, BGB is effectively discharging its assigned tasks and duties in 12 sectors with the help of 47 battalions. In another development, the authorities concerned have given approval to the BGB to appoint 84 staff in 10 categories, including one post of a deputy director general, seven posts of directors and 12 posts of additional directors for operating its aviation wing. Of these personnel, 45 would be appointed from the armed forces on deputation.