Indian Air Force Day is celebrated on October 8th every year. This celebration takes place at the Hindan Air Force Station, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. This is the largest airbase in the whole of Asia and the 8th largest in the world. The IAF chief and the senior officials of the three-armed forces mark this celebration through their presence. The most crucial and vintage aircrafts put on a grand, jaw-dropping show in the open sky.
About the Indian Air Force
The British Empire officially established the Indian Air Force (IAF) as its auxiliary air force on October 8th, 1932. Its primary mission is to protect Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. The motto of the IAF is ‘Nabham Sprasham Deeptham’ which means, ‘Touch the Sky with Glory’.
The Indian Air Force, also known as ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena’, employs around 1400 aircraft and 1,70,000 personnel. They also have a significant number of women fighter pilots, women navigators, as well as women officers who play an important role in the Indian Air Force.
Operations taken by the Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest operational air force in the world after the US, China, and Russia. The IAF has taken part in several wars since India’s independence, including 4 wars with Pakistan and one war with the People’s Republic of China. Major operations taken up by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus, and Operation Poomalai. It also plays a role in the United Nations peacekeeping mission. Apart from this, it has taken part in various relief operations during natural disasters. For instance, the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the tsunami in 2004, and the floods in North India.
The IAF made a world record on its mission ‘Rahat‘ in the Uttarakhand flash floods. During this, they rescued about 20,000 people.
IAF and other countries
India launched Operation Sahayata to extend relief support to Myanmar. Under this 2 Indian Navy ships and 2 IAF aircraft supplied the first international relief material to the cyclone-hit country. The two aircraft carried around 4 tonnes of relief support each.
They have also inducted tents, blankets, sleeping bags, and other relief materials to those affected by the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, China in May 2008.
Life in the Indian Air Force
Most of us have different perspectives about what life at the air force base must be like. Many children of the IAF pilots claim that life at the air force base is beautiful. in fact, some say that it is better than a normal civil life. The place is a center for various adventures and sports, including your personal development. The children have the luxury of studying in some of the best schools like KV and AFS. These are known to provide holistic and dynamic education. Moving from place to place, you ted t have friends and a social circle from various parts of the country. Living in an environment of strict discipline, one transforms into a real gentleman/lady. They say the air force is not just an organization but an extended family to them.
Future of IAF
The IAF has been going through a modernization program. This aims to replace and upgrade its aging and old equipment to modern standards. Over the next two decades, it may acquire 350 more aircraft, including a fleet of Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA).
So as we celebrate Indian Air Force day, let’s recognize and salute all who work tirelessly in the Air Force for our protection, and make us proud.