8 October: Celebrated as Air Force Day in India


Air Force Day is celebrated on 8th October every year in India. Bhartiya Vayu Sena turned 87 years old today, 8th October 2019.

Indian Air Force Day is held to give respect and honor to the services that our Indian Air Force pay to the country. Indian Air Force was established on 8 October, 1932 by the British Empire as that time India was under the power of British rule.

Indian Air Force played a very important role in the second world war, owing to which  King George VI conferred the prefix “Royal” in 1945. In 1950, when India became a republic, the prefix was dropped.

The Royal title continued to remain with the force even after the India got independence. It was only when the India got republic in 1950 having own constitution, the title royal was taken away from it.

The inception of Indian Air took place on 8 October, so the day is celebrated as Indian Air Force every year on the same day.

16 Facts you should know about Indian Air Force

1. Motto of Indian Air force is नभः स्पृशं दीप्तम् : Nabhaḥ Spr̥śaṁ Dīptam (Touch the Sky with Glory), is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

2.The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF.

3. The rank of Marshal of the Air Force has been conferred by the President of India on one occasion in history (2002), to Arjan Singh,  the first and so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF.

Also Read: The only Marshal of the Indian  Air Force, Arjan Singh

4. Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force.

5. With over 1,500 aircraft in its fleet operating out of 60 air bases, the Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world, after the United States, Russia, and China. The IAF has more than 600 combat aircraft and over 500 transport carriers and choppers.

6. The Indian Air Force has five operational commands across India: the Western Air Command, with its headquarters in New Delhi, the Southwestern Air Command at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, the Eastern Air Command at Shillong in Meghalaya, the Central Air Command at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, and the Southern Air Command at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. With 16 air bases, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command is the largest. The smallest is the Central Air Command with 7 bases.

7. IAF has a base in foreign land is Farkhor, Tajikistan. It is the only base located out of India.

8. At 22,000 ft (or 6,706 m), Siachen Glacier AFS is the highest Air Force Station of the IAF.

9. Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, till date, the only member of the Indian Air Force to have been awarded the Param Vir Chakra “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”,  for most conspicuous bravery during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

10. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. She is the second woman in IAF to be promoted to a three-star rank Indian Army’s Lt. General  Punita Arora. She was awarded the Vishist Seva Mandal (VSM) for her conduct during Indo-Pak War 1971.

11. Avani Chaturvedi is one of India’s first female fighter pilots. She, along with Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth, formally commissioned by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in june 2016.

12. Operation Vijay (1961) Liberation of Goa, Daman and Diu from the Portuguese.

13. Operation Meghdoot (1984) was the code-name for the Indian Armed Forces operation to capture the world’s highest battlefield Siachen Glacier. Indian troops managed to gain two-third of the glacier with the rest remaining under Pakistani control.

14. Operation Rainbow Government of India launched “Operation Rainbow” to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Tsunami, in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka. This relief operation lasted over two and a half months.

15. Operation Rahat ( 2015) was the biggest civilian rescue operation in the world carried out by any air force using helicopters. the Indian Air Force made a world record in aviation by airlifting almost 20,000 civilians.

16. Sachin Tendulkar was honoured by being made an Honorary Group Captain of the Indian Air Force at the 83rd Indian Air Force Day, thus became the first sportsperson to be made an Honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force.

17. Newly inducted Apache and Chinook helicopters will also be on display this Air Force Day.

18. The ‘Nishan Toli’ is carried by a lieutenant in the middle of the ground. The Nishan Toli is a flag which symbolizes the bravery, valor and commitment to mission, integrity and excellence of the Indian Air Force. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country, presented it to the then lieutenant on April 1, 1954. Since, then this flag is most proudly held as a symbol of high honour and is hoisted on important occasions.



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