IAF Celebrates 86th Anniversary

Saluting the air warriors and their families, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a message said, “A grateful nation salutes our valorous air warriors and their families on Air Force Day”

Issue: 10 / 2018By Rohit SrivastavaPhoto(s): By NarendraModi / Twitter, PIBIllustration(s): By Anoop Kamath
Source of Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) figures: IAF Media Co-ordination Centre Twitter@IAF_MCC

Marked by an impressive fly past by a variety of military aircraft and a grand parade by the men and women in blue, on October 8 this year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 86th anniversary at Air Force Station Hindon (Ghaziabad).

Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff, reviewed the parade.

The parade was followed by a display by the Air Warrior Drill Team, wherein they showcased their weapon handling skills and diverse manoeuvers with their rifles. This was followed by a scintillating air display by a variety of aircraft of the IAF.

President Ram Nath Kovind, the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, in his message to IAF, said, “On Air Force Day, we proudly honour our air warriors and veterans of the Indian Air Force as well as their families. They safeguard our skies with courage and commitment. The resilience, tenacity and zeal of our valiant air warriors are a source of pride for every Indian.”

Saluting the air warriors and their families, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a message said, “A grateful nation salutes our valorous air warriors and their families on Air Force Day. They keep our skies safe and are at the forefront for serving humanity in times of disasters. We are proud of the Indian Air Force.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa and officers of IAF with family during reception at Air House, New Delhi

Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman also greeted the air warriors and said, “You are the inheritors of a great history and you do us proud.”

The IAF came into existence on October 8, 1932 when the IAF Act No XIV of 1932 was passed by the Indian Legislature and received the assent of the Governor General of British India on this day. “In the last over eight decades, the IAF has technologically evolved and grown in strength to thwart any threat to the nation. It is committed to safeguard the Indian skies and has played a key role in providing assistance to the people of the country during any natural calamity. Professionalism displayed by air-warriors during various international exercises, reaffirms the capability of the IAF to be an effective net security provider,” said a spokesman of the IAF in a statement.

The air display commenced with flag bearing sky divers of the famous Akash Ganga Team, who jumped off from an An-32 transport aircraft. In the fly past that followed, Russian origin Mi-17 V5 and indigenous Rudra helicopters (weaponised Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv), the Dornier Do-228 produced by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Lockheed Martin C-130J and the Boeing C-17 transport aircraft participated. From the fighter fleet, the aircraft participating included were the Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft along with the MiG-21 Bison, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and the SU-30 MKI combat aircraft. The DC-3 Dakota, Tiger Moth and Harvard of the IAF vintage flight, also participated in the flypast.

Thereafter, the indigenously produced Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas carried out aerobatic display to showcase its maneuverability.

During the celebrations, apart from aircraft, the IAF’s Garud commandos equipped with state-of-the-art light weapons, specialist equipment and gear, held the spectators spell bound with their skills.

The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), consisting of nine Hawk 132 advanced jet trainer aircraft, “performed spectacular nine aircraft horizontal display and daring cross overs. The Helicopter aerobatics team, Sarang, enthralled the audience with breath taking formation aerobatics display.

(Top) Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with the women officers of IAF during reception at Air House, New Delhi; Honorary Capt Faqir Singh of 5 Sikh with Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa; (Middle) Flypast by Mi-17 V5 Helicopters; Sky divers of Akash Ganga Team descending with ease and precision; (Above) Flying display by LCA Tejas, IAF’s SU-30 MKI escorting C-17 Globemaster III during the fly past.