89th Indian Air Force Day 2021: Know the History, Significance

India celebrates Indian Air Force Day every day on October 8 since it was this day in 1932 that the Indian Air Force (IAF) was formally set up as a supporting force to the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom. IAF Day is observed annually at Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The occasion is characterized by the involvement of the chief of the IAF and senior officers from the three armed forces. The most important and antique aeroplanes put on a spectacular exhibition in the blue skies on this day.

As per the Indian Air Force, aircraft flying areas at low levels comprise Karwalnagar, Wazirpur bridge, Afjalpur, Hindon, Shamli, Jiwana, Gandhinagar, Pilkhuwa and Hapur.

“A scintillating air display by various aircraft will be the hallmark of the Air Force Day Parade-cum-investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan (Ghaziabad),” it said.

IAF added, “the air display will commence with flag bearing skydivers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colorful canopies at 08.00 am. Heritage aircraft, modern transport aircraft, and frontline fighter aircraft would take part in the airshow, and the celebration will come to an end at 10:52 am with a fascinating aerobatic performance.”

The IAF has urged residents of Delhi and Ghaziabad not to leave food or waste out in the open because it lures birds. In addition, the pilots would fly at low altitudes, and dumping waste outside can cause a hazard to the pilots amid their preparations.

Not long ago, the IAF underwent a significant overhaul, with the announcement of a new Vice Chief and two Commanders-in-Chief on October 1, 2021. Air Marshal Sandeep Singh has been designated Vice Chief of Air Staff, and he succeeded Air Marshal VR Chaudhari, who took over as the 27th Chief of the Indian Air Force on September 30.

History of the Indian Air Force Day

The British Empire formed the Indian Air Force, also known as the ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena,’ on October 8, 1932. In April 1933, the first operational aviation unit was formed. However, it was not until after India participated in World War II that the Indian Air Force was called the Royal Indian Air Force.

The Importance and Necessity of the Indian Air Force

The IAF is the country’s air arm and a significant part of the armed forces, playing an essential role in the country’s conflicts. Its primary purpose is to safeguard Indian airspace and undertake airborne operations during inter-national military confrontations.

Since independence, it has fought multiple wars, including four with Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Yet, surprisingly, the IAF protects Indian land and national sovereignty from any attacks and assists the country during natural catastrophes. As a result, the day is dedicated to honouring and recognising our jawans and noble sacrifices of the force.

Fascinating facts about the Indian Air Force

In honour of Indian Air Force Day 2021, we provide intriguing, lesser-known details about the Indian Air Force:

  • The Indian Air Force is the world’s fourth-biggest operational air force. Only the United States, China, and Russia dominate India.
  • The Indian Air Force’s motto is ‘Touch the Sky with Glory,’ which translates as ‘Nabham Sparsham Deeptham.’ Surprisingly, the IAF’s slogan is drawn from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
  • The Indian Air Force has over 1,500 aircraft and over 1,80,000 soldiers.
  • In Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, Hindon Air Force Station is Asia’s largest and most prominent airbase. It is also the world’s eighth biggest, spread over 14 km round and 55 square kilometres (21 sq mi).
  • The Indian Air Force has traditionally participated in relief operations following natural disasters, such as the Gujarat cyclone (1998), the tsunami (2004), and floods in North India. However, when rescuing citizens stuck by the Uttarakhand severe flooding, the Indian Air Force set a global record. The mission was labelled ‘Raahat,’ and the IAF saved about 20,000 civilians.
  • The Indian Air Force has also played a significant role in several operations, including Operation Meghdoot, Vijay, Poomalai, and others. The IAF also assists the UN on peacekeeping missions.
  • The Indian Air Force boasts many female fighter pilots, navigators, and female officers that serve in the Indian Air Force. The IAF’s Rafale squadron has a female fighter pilot.