The Indian Air Force celebrated its 91st anniversary in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh today. As part of the celebrations, IAF organized the ceremonial parade at Air Force Station Bamrauli at Prayagraj.
The parade was reviewed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, the General Officer in Command of Central Air Command, Air Marshal, RGK Kapoor, and other dignitaries also graced the occasion.
AIR Correspondent reports that Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari unveiled the new IAF ensign at the parade, while the previous version was lowered, folded with full honors, and handed over to the Air Chief. It will now become part of the exhibits at the Air Force Museum.
The CAS also presented the coveted Unit Citations to four IAF Units, namely 16 Squadron, 142 Helicopter Unit, 901 Signal Unit, and 3 Base Repair Depot for their exemplary contribution to the service.
Speaking on the occasion CAS Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari said that we need to understand the nuances of the evolving airpower setting the pace to preserve peace, if and when necessary to fight and win wars. Innovation must become a part of our DNA, enabling us to easily adapt to emerging threats and challenges.
CAS added that the theme for this year’s Air Force Day is ‘IAF-Airpower Beyond Boundaries’. The theme aptly reflects the inherent global reach of air power. In this year, the Indian Air Force carried out eight exercises across the globe with friendly foreign countries and performed exceptionally well. For the first time, our indigenously built light combat aircraft also participated in an overseas exercise.
He informed that IAF has successfully inducted the first batch of Agniveers and subsequent batches, including women Agniveers, are presently undergoing basic training. The rigour of training has been increased across the board for all training curriculums with more emphasis on self-learning and self-education.
This is the first AF Day parade which was commanded by a woman officer, Gp Capt Shaliza Dhami. She is also the first woman officer of the IAF to command a combat unit. For the first time, the parade had an all-women contingent composed of the newly inducted Agniveer Vayu women, who marched shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
The parade also included a flight of Garud Commandos of the IAF for the first time. The Garuds have recently completed 20 years of service to the nation.
The parade showcased the IAF’s capabilities and its commitment to defending the nation. Sky para jumpers performed outstanding stunts and filled the people with thrill and enthusiasm. Over 2500 spectators including around 400 school children watched the parade.
The event will be followed by an Air Display over the Sangam area in the vicinity of the Ordnance Depot Fort in Prayagraj starting at 2:45 PM. State industrial development minister Nand Gopal Gupta “Nandi” will attend the event. In the air display, more than 100 fighter and transport aircraft including the Rafale fighter jets and helicopters from 10 air bases will showcase the power of the Indian Air Force.
The air display will witness a formal send-off to MiG-21 and the recently inducted C-295 transport aircraft will make its debut at the Air Force Day over the Sangam.