New Delhi. 08 October 2018 . The Indian Air Force turned 86 amidst clouds of political controversy created by opposition on Rafale deal, hovering above it. But this did not deter the spirits nor the élan. India’s air power roared in the skies above the National Capital Region and preparedness of the force to tackle war on both the fronts and if need be on the third front, was the message given to the world.
To mark the occasion and in keeping up with the tradition, IAF organised a grand Parade cum Investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan (Ghaziabad). Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff reviewed the parade. Various dignitaries and veterans participated in the celebrations. But the icing in the cake was the breath taking display by the Air Warrior Drill Team, wherein the team showcased their weapon handling skills and carried out diverse manoeuvers with their rifles. This will be followed by a scintillating air display by wide range of IAF aircraft including Vintage flight.
The Supreme Commander President of India Ram Nath Kovind though was out of the nation tweeted, “We proudly honour our air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. They safeguard our skies with courage and commitment. The resilience, tenacity and zeal of our valiant air warriors is a source of pride for every Indian.”
The air display commenced with flag bearing sky divers of the Akash Ganga Team, who jumped from an An-32 aircraft. Flypast comprised of Mi-17 V5 and Rudra helicopters, Dornier, C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, Jaguar, Bison, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft. Dakota, Tiger Moth and Harvard of the IAF Vintage flight also participated in the flypast. Post flypast, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) carried out an aerobatic display in front of the audience.
The Ambassadors of Indian Air Force, Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team (SKAT), comprising of nine Hawk 132 aircraft and the Helicopter aerobatics team, Sarang enthralled the audience with breath taking formation aerobatics display. After the parade, all visitors got an opportunity to witness static display of aircraft, weapon, radar and missiles systems of the Indian Air Force.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has saluted air warriors and their families on Air Force Day, “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 of serving humanity in times of disasters. Proud of the Indian Air Force”, the Prime Minister said.
In the last eight decades, 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 IAF’s ability to be an effective net security provider. On this day, all men and women of IAF pay rich tribute to the untiring efforts and supreme sacrifice made by veterans, who laid a strong foundation for the service.
Amidst patriotic fervour was the presence of a dash of glamour by the presence of Honorary Group Captain Sachin Tendulkar who attended the parade.