Air Force Day 2019
The 87th Indian Air Force Day was celebrated on Tuesday, 8th October 2019.
The preparations had already begun at the air force stations across the country for a couple of months. It was celebrated in a festive mood with a huge display of arms and aircraft capacity of the Indian Air Force.
The sky around the airfield was abuzz with the sounds of helicopters like Tejas, Sarang and fighter planes, which took part in the air show. Newly inducted Apache and Chinook helicopters were also on display this Air Force Day.
The Defence Minister of India, Sri Rajnath Singh, was in France to receive the first Rafale aircraft, out of the 36 those are ordered.
The celebration at Hindon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad began with the Akash Ganga sky diving team dropping out of AN 32 aircraft. The events were witnessed by star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and the chiefs of all three Defence Forces of India.
A flypast was conducted by the vintage as well as modern aircraft of the Air Force.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flew MIG Bison aircraft at the Hindon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad.
Air Chief Marshal, R.K.S. Bhadauria thanked the nation for the trust and support and vowed by the Air Force’s resolve to protect the interest of the nation at all costs.
The No 9 squadron of the Indian Air Force which had carried out the Balakot strike was awarded for the dexterity and preciseness with which it carried out the strike.
Air Force has also released the promotional video featuring the Balakot airstrike.
A Brief History of Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October 1932 by the British Empire. It held the status of the auxiliary force of the British Empire that aided the army fighting on the land. India’s aviation service was awarded the name ‘Royal’ during the efforts made by them at the time of World War II.
The name Royal Indian Air Force was kept even after India gained its Independence back from the United Kingdom. As our government got our own constitution and became a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed after three years. The adoption of the Royal Air Force uniforms, badges, brevets, and insignia took place on the same day of its establishment in 1932.
When is Air Force Day Celebrated
The Indian Air Force Day is celebrated on the day of inception of this force in India to aid the Army that was fighting on the land. That is on 8th October every year. It is attended by the Chiefs of all the three defense services namely the Indian Air Force, Army, and Navy.
Air Force in the Present Day
Today the President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the operational command of the Air Force. The IAF’s mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, the, and the Air Force Act of 1950. The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops on the battlefield as well as strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. They always remain available at the time the nation needs them at the time of natural calamity or any man-made crisis.
How is Air Force Day Celebrated?
The celebrations begin with the parade by the Air Force cadets. Thereafter the following activities take place sequentially. It is a set of ritualistic schedule strictly followed with complete decorum maintained at a high level by each one of the Defence Personnel and the civilian personnel of the three wings of the Defence Forces present for the occasion.
- The Parade on Air Force Day
Air Chief Marshal inspects the parade. The bugle is heralded and the parade is marched in. The Air Force Parade marks the beginning of the celebration. The parade is accompanied by a band that plays throughout the event. Once the parade begins, as per the custom all attendees rise in its honor and all uniformed air personnel stand in the audience and salute the parade.
The ‘Nishan Toli’ is carried by a lieutenant in the middle of the ground. The Nishan Toli is a flag that symbolizes the bravery, valor, and commitment to the mission, integrity, and excellence of the Indian Air Force. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country, presented it to the then lieutenant on April 1, 1954. Since then this flag is most proudly held as a symbol of high honor and is hoisted on important occasions.
- Oath Taking Ceremony
The Commander in Chief administers the oath of allegiance to all the Air Personnel as well as the Civilians present on the occasion to dedicate their lives to the larger cause, that is – Our Nation. The wreath-laying and the oath-taking ceremony are usually the highlights of the celebrations. All the activities that form the part of traditionally conducted celebrations are performed with a complete and strict formal schedule. This event marks the close of a week-long celebration organized on the Air Force day.
- Rifle Drill
After the parade, there is a Rifle Drill with Musical Band performing on the best of its tunes.
Skydiving takes place by two teams of the Indian Air Force. These are the Akash Ganga Team and the Suryakiran Aerobatics Team called SKAT in short.
- Air Show
The Air show, for which the audience excitedly looks forward to, begins. The various jewels of the Air Force Fleet like the C-17 Globemaster III, Dolphin Leap by SARANG Helicopters aerobatic team, SuryaKiran Team displaying their Air flying talent using their HAWK Trainer jet planes & SU-30 MKI are on the very best of their displays. The contingent of each display usually includes four squadrons of two flights each and is commanded by a Wing Commander.
- Exhibition of fighter planes and other equipment
A gallery display of fighter planes and other accompanying equipment used in the wars is put up for the spectators so they can have a closer look at them and enjoy being a part of the Air Force and feel proud of the brave hearts and the ease with which they learn to fly and use each one of them. The aircraft and helicopters used for important missions like Operation Rahat and Operation Meghdoot are put up for the display at the exhibition. Along with these, the new aircrafts ready to launch for various missions are put up too. There is Air Force Personnel present around each of the flying machines to explain the features and its purpose.
Air Force Day Celebrations in 2017
The celebrations began with a very elegantly looking troop parading the grounds of Air Base Hindon, near Delhi. The Adventure loaded Air Show and other very interesting events took place here.
As usual, after the Parade inspected by the Air Chief Marshal and the Guard of Honour presented to him, there was a Musical Band presentation by the Air Force Band, the best performers in India. Thereafter the Akash Ganga Team members displayed the Chakra Formation Flypast during Parade by 3 Mi-35 Helicopters. It was a breathtaking sight and each one present there was awestruck.
Finally, the Air show began a show that the spectators were waiting excitedly for so long. The various machines of the Air Force Fleet like the C-17 Globemaster III & SU-30 MKI were on the display.
Embraer ERJ with Drdo developed AEWACS radar system was proudly displayed. This was followed by the power-packed performance by SU-30 Planes. The formations made in the sky by all of the pilots were amazing and brought tears to the eyes of all present there. It is a source of adrenaline rush and a matter of pride to be part of such a great national team. Then there was the ‘Dolphin Leap’ by Sarang Helicopters’ aerobatic team.
This was followed by the SuryaKiran Team displaying their Air flying talent using their HAWK Trainer jet planes. Next to follow was the Fighter Planes with the sudden heart-throbbing entry in the sky. Their rapid ascending and descending capabilities made the hearts of all the spectators miss a beat.
Finally, it was time to welcome the first indigenous fifth Generation Fighter plane of India- LCA Tejas. Kudos to DRDO and Kudos to IAF for building this pride of Nation called Tejas. It shows great technical abilities of our engineering team and their creative abilities put at their best to develop technology and not depend on mere foreign countries for buying the jet fighters and other planes.
This is the beginning of a new era. Last but not least there were Airplanes on the display and the spectators were allowed to enter the parade ground where many Demo planes including Tejas were present too. The people were not having enough of the selfies with all the big and small machines and enjoying being a part of the otherwise unachievable access to any of these mean machines.
Air Force Day Celebrations in 2018
In 2018, the Central Air Command will celebrate the 86th anniversary of the Indian Air Force with the same zeal and pride at various Air Stations all over the country on the 8th of October. On the same day, all Air Force stations in various states will conduct their parades at their respective Airbases. The military parade will be conducted as per the same schedule and the protocol that is followed each year. A list of a couple of stations how they celebrated the Air Force Day in previous years is given below:
- Air Force Day Celebrations in Allahabad
In the event that was conducted in 2013 in Allahabad, the Air Officer Commander-in-Chief made a special mention of the ‘Operation Rahat’ and the helicopters of Central Air Command that were deployed to rescue and save the lives of many flood-stricken villages in Uttrakhand. They were commended for being able to do so undeterred by harsh weather conditions, difficult terrain and almost non-existent landing space. The families of air warriors were thanked and appreciated for their unconditional support at all times. On this occasion, messages of thankfulness and appreciation by their Supreme Commander, the President and those of the Prime Minister, Vice President, Defense Minister and Chief of Air Staff were readout.
- Air Force Celebrations in Coimbatore
A year before the last in Coimbatore, at the Sulur Air Station, there was an Air display by the officers of Sanrang. To display to the spectators how the rescue and relief operations are undertaken by the Indian Air Force in times of natural and man-made calamities, the Air Force personnel performed the actual activity that goes on at the time of crisis. This event served as the opening act of the day.
About Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is known as Bharatiya Vayu Sena in Hindi. This wing of the army provides air fighting and security of aerial spaces belonging to India. Indian Air force boasts of the best air personnel and the fleet of fighter planes. In fact, it ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary motive is to vigilantly patrol the Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare when the situation arises.
The Air Force Day was officially started celebrating on the 8th of October in the year 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the Indian Empire. The Indian Air Force, the air arm of the Indian armed forces, has its prime responsibility of securing the Indian airspace as well as to carry out aerial warfare during any clash.
The India Air Force has been engaged in the four wars with Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China after its independence. The operations carried out by it are Operation Meghdoot, Operation Vijay – the invasion of Goa, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. It has also been involved in the United Nations peacekeeping missions. The President of the country serves the India Air Force as a Commander-in-Chief.
The Indian Air Force has the strength of about 170,000 personnel and more than 1,400 aircraft and considered as one of the leading air forces of the world. It has the responsibility to safeguard the Indian Territory from all risks, provide help during natural calamities to the affected areas.
It was started celebrating in order to increase the awareness about the importance of Indian air force in any organization of national security both officially and publicly. The Indian Air Force was involved in the following:
- World War II
- Sino-Indian War
- Operation Cactus
- Operation Vijay
- Kargil War
- Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
- Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
- Congo Crisis
- Operation Poomalai
- Operation Pawan