The Indian Air Force (IAF) completed 84 years of illustrious service to the nation on October 8, 2016. IAF's 84th anniversary was celebrated with full fervour, gusto and enthusiasm. In order to commemorate the occasion in a befitting manner several functions were held all over India.
The main function was held at Hindon Air Force Station near New Delhi. The IAF displayed various aircraft as a part of the celebrations to mark the Air Force Day Parade-cum-Investiture Ceremony. The Air Force Day parade started with an impressive parade followed by an investiture ceremony. During the event, the Air Force band enthralled all with a rendition of military martial music. Crisp drill movements by the Air Warrior Drill Team were also displayed.
Earlier, while speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said that "Today, the IAF stands at the threshold of acquiring multi-spectrum strategic capabilities, synonymous with India's growing regional stature and expanding national interests. The challenges of transformation, in terms of induction of new aircraft and weapon platforms, creation of operational infrastructure and training of our air-warriors, are being met through focussed planning and implementation, so as to ensure timely operationalisation."
He further said, "To attain true strategic autonomy, the IAF is focussing on indigenous acquisition of aircraft, radars, missiles and other aviation equipment, in consonance with the 'Make in India' initiative. The induction of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' into the IAF, and placement of orders for 120 Tejas aircraft, is a testimony to IAF's commitment to furthering indigenous capabilities."
The IAF Day Parade culminated with a breathtaking air-show showcasing the capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
A reception was held at AIR House in New Delhi. Hon'ble President Mr Pranab Mukhejee and Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi graced the occasion. It was also attended by senior officers and other dignitaries including former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
pix: Vijay Kumar, GD Mehra and Rakesh Mangaraj
President of India greets Indian Air Force on the eve of its 84th Anniversary
The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee greeted the Indian Air Force on the eve of its 84th Anniversary on October 8, 2016.
In his message, the President has said "I am happy to know that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 84th Anniversary on October 8, 2016. The nation is proud of the capability and competency of the IAF. Over the last eight decades, the IAF has emerged as an immensely professional and combat-ready force. It has achieved distinction in defending our skies and delivering vital humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The brave men and women in blue have displayed incredible courage and determination in the discharge of their duties, acquitting themselves with great élan.
I am confident that the ongoing process of modernisation will transform the IAF into an even more potent and strategic force that can take on all future challenges. I am sure the IAF will remain ever vigilant in protecting our skies and continue to maintain its cherished standards of excellence.
On this occasion, I extend my greetings and felicitations to all personnel of the Indian Air Force, civilians and their families. I wish them continued success in the years ahead".