TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari hailed the progress of the Army Aviation over the past years, saying it currently has the most powerful fleet of helicopters in the region.

“The Army Aviation of the Islamic Republic of Iran has gone through a very good process of progress since the victory of the (1979 Islamic) Revolution and, consequently, (has) the strongest fleet of helicopters in the Middle East,” he said Thursday in an address at the graduation ceremony of Army Aviation pilots in the central city of Isfahan.

General Kiomars also hailed the contributions of Army Aviation forces in different military and civilian areas, saying that in the military sphere, the Army Aviation is prepared to defend the Islamic Iran at any moment.

He further praised the forces for their effective participation in rescue efforts following a strong earthquake in the western province of Kermanshah.

The commander said that the Army Aviation helicopters conducted some 500 sorties on the first day of the incident, transferring those injured in the quake to hospitals in the provincial capital.