October 08 : Air force Day All you need to know

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History of Indian Air Force Day

October 08 : Air force Day All you need to know | Also known as ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena’, the Indian Air Force was established in the country on October 8, 1932, by the British Empire. The first operational squadron came into being in April 1933. However, it was only after the participation in World War II, that the Air Force in India came to be known as the Royal Indian Air Force.

The Air Force in India was officially raised in 1932 as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom. Since then, October 08 has been celebrated every year as Indian Air Force Day.

Indian Air Force Day 2021: Significance and importance

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm and a crucial organ of the Indian armed forces which plays a vital role in the wars fought by the country. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and conduct aerial activities during armed conflicts within nations.The Indian Air Force has taken part in several wars since independence, including four wars with Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China.

Interestingly, the Indian Air Force not only safeguards Indian territory and national interests from all threats but also provides support during natural calamities in the country. Hence, the day is celebrated to honour and recognise the selfless efforts of our jawans and the entire force.

Indian Air Force Day 2021: Theme

The celebrations on Indian Air Force Day are marked every year with a unique theme. Last year, the theme was “the untiring efforts and supreme sacrifices of its personnel”. Meanwhile, in 2019, the nation witnessed the theme of “know your Air Force”.

Some interesting facts about the Indian Air Force (IAF)

As India commemorates Indian Air Force Day 2021on October 08 , we bring to you some interesting, lesser-known facts about the IAF.

– The Indian Air Force (IAF) is ranked the fourth largest operational air force in the world. Only the US, China and Russia are ahead of India.

– The motto of the Indian Air Force is ‘Nabham Sparsham Deeptham’, which literally means ‘Touch the Sky with Glory’. Interestingly, IAF has taken its motto from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

– The Indian Air Force employs over 1,400 aircraft and about 170,000 personnel.

– Hindon Air Force station, situated in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is the largest airbase in entire Asia. It is also the 8th largest in the world.

– IAF has always taken part in relief operations during natural calamities in the country, including the Gujarat cyclone (1998), the tsunami (2004) and floods in North India. However, IAF made a world record while rescuing civilians stranded during the Uttarakhand flash floods. The mission was named ‘Raahat’ during which the IAF rescued about 20,000 people.

– IAF has also been an important part of various operations such as Operation Poomalai, Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and more.

– IAF even works with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions.

– IAF has included a significant number of women fighter pilots, women navigators and women officers who provide their services to the Indian Air Force. Even the Rafale fleet of the IAF has a woman fighter pilot.

11 inspiring & interesting facts about the IAF that’ll make every Indian proud.

  • After Independence of India in 1947, Indian Air Force was named Royal Indian Air Force. However, when India turned Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed.
  • After the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh is the only living Indian military officer with a 5-star rank.
  • With around 1, 70,000 personnel and 1,500 aircraft, IAF is the fourth largest air force in the world after the US, Russia and China. The Indian air force is also the seventh strongest air force in the world.
  • IAF’s Hindon Air Force Station, situated near Ghaziabad is the largest in Asia and 8th largest in the world. The highest Air Force Station is Siachen Glacier AFS situated at a height of 22,000 ft or (or 6,706 m).
  • Adopted in 1951, IAF flag is blue in colour and contains the National Flag in the first quadrant and a roundel of the Tricolour. Since 1933, the IAF Roundel (logo on the planes and IAF flag) has changed at least four times.
  • Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was the first and only IAF officer to be awarded the Param Veer Chakra posthumously for his bravery in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
  • IAF has one Air Marshal at a time and Padmavathy Bandopadhyay is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. Also, she was the second woman in the Indian armed forces who was promoted to three-star rank.
  • The IAF destroyed more than 40 APCs, 29 Pakistani tanks, and a railway train during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
  • The IAF created a world record by airlifting around 20,000 civilians in ‘Raahat’ mission during floods in Uttarakhand.
  • IAF has a base in Tajikistan named Farkhor Air base located in Farkhor, India’s first and only military base outside the country. 
  • According to Flight International, there to be around 1,721 aircraft including Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mirage-2000, Apache and Chinook in service with the Indian Air Force.