Indian Air Force Day – 8 October
Indian Airforce Day is celebrated on 8th October every year as it was the day when the Indian Air Force also is known as “Bhartiya Vayu Sena” was officially established in 1932. The prime mission of the Indian Airforce is to secure Indian airspace and conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict.
It was set as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire named as Royal Indian Air Force and after Independence, the prefix Royal was removed. With around 1,500 aircraft and 1, 70,000 personnel, today it is the fourth largest Air Force in the world with a highly technical and specialized fighting force that safeguards our skies against enemy invasions.
After the independence of British India from the British Empire in 1947 into two nations, India and Pakistan the air force assets were also divided between the new countries. During the time of conflict between the two countries, the Indian Air Force did not engage air-to-air combat with Pakistan Air Force rather it provided effective transport and close air support to the Indian troops.
The two dates which are the landmarks in the history of the Indian Air Force are 8th October when it came into being and 1st April 1954 its second birth when Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, one of the founding members of the Air Force took over as the first Indian Chief of Air Staff. The period from 1955-1971 saw two Indo-Pak wars both of which were marked by the neutralization of Pakistani Air efforts by the Indian Air Force. The IAF also contributed to the UN Peacekeeping mission in Congo as well as the Sino India Conflict, with dedication and commitment.
From 1972-1990 Indian Air Force saw a massive upgrading of its aircraft and equipment. As part of the process, the Indian Air Force introduced over twenty new aircraft types. Jaguars and several variations of the MiG were among the aircraft introduced to replace the Dakotas and the Packets. The MiG is a revolutionary aircraft that was introduced to the Indian fleet in the eighties. The same period also witnessed a number of world records set by Indian Air Force personnel.
From 1990-present Indian Air Force saw a phenomenal change in the structure of the Indian Air Force with the induction of women into the Air Force for short service commissions. It was also a time when the Air Force undertook some of the most perilous operations ever undertaken. In 1999, the Indian Air Force undertook “Operation Safed Sagar”, the most unique air operation undertaken by any air force in the world. An air attack was launched and won at an unprecedented height, under hostile climatic conditions against an intruding enemy. The Indian Air Force also participated in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia as part of a humanitarian operation.
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The objective of the Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force protects Indian airspace from all threats. The Indian Air Force Mission is defined in the Armed Forces Act of 1947 by the Constitution of India and the Army Act of 1950, Air War Zone, etc.
At the time of any disaster in India, the Air Force helps in search and rescue operations by dropping relief material in the areas affected by the disaster. The Indian Air Force has been very helpful in providing relief material for the rescue of natural disasters during the 1998 Gujarat cyclone.
Indian Air Force Organization
The headquarters of the IAF is in New Delhi. For effective command and control, IAF has seven Commands, under whom are various stations and units located at varied locations across the Country. The organization’s chart shows the setup of the Indian Air Force at a glance.
- Air Head Quarter in New Delhi
- Western Air Command
- Eastern Air Command
- Central Air command
- South-Western Air Command
- Southern Air Command
- Training command
The motto of Indian Air Force
Touch the sky with Glory
The Motto of Indian Air Force (Touch the sky with Glory) has been taken from the eleventh chapter of the Gita, the Discourse given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra during the Great War of Mahabharata. The Lord is showing His Supreme Divine form to Arjuna and the great form of the Lord is reaching the sky with glory, evoking fear and loss of self-control in the mind of Arjuna. The Indian Air Force, similarly, aims to overwhelm the adversaries with the application of aerospace power in defense of the nation.
नभ:स्पृशं दीप्तमनेकवर्णं व्यात्ताननं दीप्तविशालनेत्रम् ।
दृष्ट्वा हि त्वां प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो ।।
Lord, seeing your form “Touching the Sky With Glory”, effulgent, multi-colored, having its mouth wide open and possessing large flaming eyes, I, with my innermost self frightened, have lost self-control and find no peace.
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The Air Force Day Celebration
The Air Force Day is celebrated to increase awareness and importance of the Air force for national security. The day is marked with a parade in all Air force Stations. We celebrate this day to salute everybody who is part of the Indian Air Force. In 2020 the Rafale fighter jet that officially entered the famous Indian Air Force (IAF) 17th Golden Arrows Squadron at Ambala Air Base in Haryana on September 10, is set to make its debut in the Force Day parade Airline on October 8th.