This year on 8th October, India celebrated its 91st Indian Air Force Day. The anniversary was celebrated with a parade, followed by a flypast in Prayagraj at Bamrauli Air Force Station.
Full-fledged rehearsal was conducted on 6th October for this special day.
The event started at 7:45 AM with a parade and in the afternoon, at around 2 PM a mega airshow was scheduled at Triveni Sangam. The airshow included all the major aircraft and fighter jets like Rafale, Jaguar, MiG29, Sukhoi 30, C-295, and others. As reported by ANI, many people were gathered around the place to enjoy the mega airshow.
Impressive Air Display at Triveni Sangam:
The display showcased a total of 108 IAF aircraft, including Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters from the Indian Army, a P-8I aircraft from the Indian Navy, as well as captivating performances by the Surya Kiran and Sarang display teams.
IAF made their special formations of Luvkush, Bharat and Sugreev with many others. Not less than 120 aircrafts participated in this event.
Noteworthy Events at Air Force Day Parade:
During the Air Force Day parade, a special flight of Garud Commandos from the IAF made its debut, commemorating their 20 years of dedicated service. At the parade, the Air Chief presented Unit Citations to four outstanding IAF Units. These units, namely the 16 Squadron, 142 Helicopter Unit, 901 Signal Unit, and 3 Base Repair Depot, were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the service.
History of Indian Air Force:
The air force was established during the British reign to support their Royal Air Force on this day in 1932, under the name of RIAF (Royal Indian Air Force). The first squadron flight took place on 1 April, 1933.
Due to its impressive performance and achievements in World War II, the force was granted the title “Royal” in March 1945, leading to its designation as the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). However, in 1950, as India became a republic, the IAF decided to remove the “Royal” prefix from its name.
Retirement of MiG-21:
It would be the last appearance of MiG-21, which is an interceptor aircraft and supersonic fighter jet made by Russia. Only 3 aircraft are currently in operation in India which will soon be deprecated and replaced by the indigenous aircraft Tejas Mark 1A till 2025, Marshal V R Chaudhary (Chief of Air Staff) confirmed on Tuesday while addressing a press conference.
Indian Air Force 2023 Motto:
The motto for the 91st anniversary is “Nabham Sparsham Deeptham” meaning ‘touching the sky with glory’. According to some data, more than 1400 aircraft and 1,65,000+ personnel are employed in the Indian Air Force.
The theme of IAF 2023:
The theme for this year’s Air Force Day was ‘IAF – Air Power Beyond Boundaries.’ The Air Chief highlighted how air power’s global reach is crucial in future conflicts. He emphasized the Air Force’s ability to operate worldwide, providing rapid mobility and aid in emergencies and disasters.
IAF’s first woman officer:
GP captain Shaliza Dhami became the 1st woman in India to be a commander of the IAF parade unit. She led an all-women contingent, which is also a mark of a new beginning, which had Agniveer Vayu women.
New Ensign of IAF:
The updated Air Force ensign was flown low by a Mi-17v5 chopper as a group of airmen and IAF officials carried the new ensign with pride during the parade. The IAF crest is now displayed in the top right corner of the updated ensign, which was approved in 1951. Additionally, the national flag is displayed in the upper left quadrant and the IAF tricolor roundel is displayed in the lower right.
The national crest itself features the Ashoka lion at the top with the words “Satyamev Jayate” written beneath it in Devanagari script. An outstretched Himalayan eagle represents the IAF’s fierce fighting spirit beneath the Ashoka lion. The words “Bhartiya Vayu Sena” are engraved on a light blue ring that surrounds the Himalayan eagle. This new ensign represents an important change.
Important Operations by IAF:
Operation Meghdoot (1984): “Operation Meghdoot” was the codename for the Indian military operation to capture the Siachen Glacier in the northern part of the contested region of Kashmir.
Operation Vijay (1999): “Operation Vijay” was the Indian codename for the Kargil War, a conflict between India and Pakistan in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Balakot Airstrike (2019): The Balakot airstrike was a preemptive non-military strike conducted by the Indian Air Force in response to the Pulwama terror attack, targeting a terrorist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
Operation Safed Sagar (1999): “Operation Safed Sagar” was the codename for the Indian Air Force’s role in the Kargil War. It aimed to clear infiltrators from the Indian side of the Line of Control.
Operation Parakram (2001-2002): “Operation Parakram” was the code name for a major military standoff between India and Pakistan, following the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.
Operation Khukri (2000): “Operation Khukri” was a multinational operation led by the Indian Army to rescue 223 Indian soldiers who were held captive by rebels in Sierra Leone.
Greetings by Different Ministries:
Many Indian leaders and politicians greeted IAF on their 91st anniversary via X(formerly Twitter).
President Droupadi Murmu:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
Home Minister Amit Shah:
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh:
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath: