The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary on 8th October 2017. A ceremonial Air Force Day Parade (AFDP) was held at the airbase in Hindan, near Ghaziabad commemorating the occasion. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa reviewed the grand parade. The impressive parade was led by Group Captain SM Yunus.
The Air Force Day Parade is conducted every year to publicly pledge the continued dedication of the IAF in its service to the nation and to reassure all countrymen of its vitality and preparedness. The Air Force Day is celebrated to mark the significance of the Day (October 8, 1932) when the Act to establish the IAF came into effect. Significantly, this day also marks the commissioning of the first six IAF Officers.
The Air Chief presented 20 Vayu Sena Medals (VM) including 6 for gallantry and 28 Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM) on behalf of the President of India, at an Investiture Ceremony held at the parade. He also awarded citations to three IAF units – 14 Squadron 128 Helicopter Unit and Flying Instructors' School (FIS).
The proceedings began with air warriors descending from the sky with the IAF and Akashganga flags carried by sky divers of IAF's sky diving team. Later, the Air Warrior Drill Team and a breathtaking air show showcased the capabilities of the IAF. India's indigenous Tejas fighter stole the show, leaving spectators enthralled with its manoeuvres. The show-stoppers as always were the four-helicopter display by Sarang team in Advanced Light Helicopters and the nine-aircraft Suryakiran Aerobatic Team in Hawk advanced jet trainers. The air display also included vintage Tiger Moth and Harvard. A static display was also organised which included various weapon systems of IAF inventory that provided glimpses of the IAF's lethal strike capability.
pix: Fulchand Kitadikar and GD Mehra