India is a federal republic country as it is being governed by the elected members of the country since its independence from British rule in 1947. India also possesses various kinds of power to secure its boundaries and integrity. For safety and security of the country and its people, every nation keeps some armed forces. Similarly, India also has strong and dynamic armed forces. Indian Armed Forces mainly comprise of three military forces – Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF). To commemorate the day when the Indian Air Force was officially raised as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of England, Indian Air Force Day is celebrated on October 8 every year. In the year 2021, India is celebrating its 89th IAF Day. This day has its own significance for our country. Let us understand the purpose and importance of this day through this article.
History behind Indian Air Force Day 2021
The Indian Air Force (IAF) was established in the country before we got our independence. On October 8 in the year 1932, IAF or ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena’ was established by the British Empire. In the month of April in 1933, the first operational squadron of IAF came into being. But when India participated in World War II then only Air Force of India came to be known as the Royal Indian Air Force. Since then, India is celebrating IAF Day every year.
Events and Celebration of Indian Air Force Day 2021
The Airwing of India’s Armed Forces has some rituals that have been followed by the Air Force Commanders to celebrate this day. Several events are organised on this day by the government of India. The main event takes place at the Hindan Air Force base station and a parade is organised by the men and women air warriors. The celebration of the day also involves a ceremony in which the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) pins the medals on the uniforms of the recipients.
Apart from the parade and distribution of medal ceremony, Air Force Chief delivers a speech in which he/she talks about the existing situation of the nation and tries to present a roadmap of their future actions. Every year a large number of crowd including serving and retired individuals, family members of air warriors and common citizens attend the event. However, Indian Air Force Day 2020 did not witness large number of attendees because of the COVID restrictions.
Other than this, one more key feature of this celebration is the ceremony of fly-past. In this fly-past, various fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters display aerobatics stunts. Last year, the Tejas LCA, Sukhoi-30, Mig-29, Mig-21 and newly inducted Rafale jets along with helicopters like the Chinook, Mi-17V5, Mi-35, Apache and ALH Rudra were shown in the fly-past. For the year 2021, a full dress rehearsal of the event was conducted at Hindan base station in Ghaziabad.
Importance of the Indian Air Force Day
Celebrating the Indian Air Force Day 2021 is important for our country as the strength and valour of the air wing is displayed and honoured on this day. In addition, various symbolic events organized on this day hold significance as they deliver a message. The day is important for the air warriors as they remember the past sacrifices, take account of the present situation, and plan for a safe future. On the other hand, these parades and fly-pasts have a strategic meaning behind their breathtaking displays. These displays deliver a message to the citizens of the country that they are in safe hands.
Role of Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force Day is a day to pay tribute to countless sacrifices made by air warriors not only in safeguarding the sky but also helping in several humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is a crucial organ of the Indian Armed Forces which has played a vital role in the wars fought by India to secure the nation’s territories. IAF’s main mission is to secure Indian airspace. It is also responsible for conducting aerial activities during armed conflicts within nations. Whenever, India’s integrity is in danger, Air Force of India along with Indian Navy and Indian Army, act as a shield to protect us from the intruders. Indian Air Force also works to rescue Indian soldiers apart from fighting in military wars. The Indian Air Force has taken part in several wars since independence that includes 4 wars with Pakistan and one with China.
IAF not only safeguards Indian Territory from all threats but also helps when the country faces any natural calamity. The examples of which are the Gujarat cyclone of 1998, the tsunami in 2004, etc. IAF made a record of rescuing around 20,000 civilians during the Uttarakhand flash floods of 2013 and that mission was named as ‘Raahat’. So, it is very important that we celebrate this day to honour and recognise the selfless efforts of our females and males warriors. This day also motivates the youth of our country to serve this nation by joining Indian Armed forces. There are some examinations including NDA that are conducted for males and females to enter and join Indian Armed Forces.
Some Interesting Facts about the Indian Air Force Day
We know that what role IAF plays for our country and how much it is important for us. But here are some interesting facts that we need to know about the Indian Air Force.
- In 1948, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was formed which is India’s largest defense firm in the public sector.
- The motto of the Air Force of India (IAF) is नभः स्पृशं दीप्तम् meaning ‘Touching the Sky with Glory’.
- In 2002, Arjan Singh has been granted the rank of Marshal of the Air Force by the Indian Government making him the first and the only Five-star officer of the Indian Air Force.
- IAF has been categorised into two functional and five operational commands.
- In 2010, a robust digital information grid called Air Force Network (AFNET) was launched. This grid enables quick and meticulous threat responses.
- The Supreme Command of the Indian Armed Forces rests in the hands of the President of India.
Indian Air Force Day 2021 is a day when brave men and women air warriors strengthen their resolve to protect the nation. These days, people wish Happy Indian Air Force Day with the messages and posts related to the same on online social media platforms. The Government of India has launched the video of full dress rehearsal for the IAF day 2021 and has also posted a video showing the celebration ceremony held at Hindan. The work done by IAF makes it a fundamental and crucial part of the Indian defence system along with the Indian Navy and Army.
Indian Air Force Day 2021: FAQs
Q1. When was Air Force of India founded?
Ans. Indian Air Force (IAF) was founded in the year 1932.
Q2. How can we celebrate Indian Air Force Day 2021 at an individual level?
Ans. People can organize several activities like speech, debate, posters making competitions, poem and songs recitations, etc related to the Indian Air Force on this day. This also spread awareness about the IAF Day among children and youth of our country.
Q3. Which aircrafts and helicopters have participated in the flypast?
Ans. Aircrafts LCA Tejas, Jaguar, MiG-29, Mirage 2000 fighter including Rafale have been participated in the IAF Day 2021 flypast. Consequently, helicopters named Mi-17 and Chinook also showed breathtaking display in the sky.
Q4. Who is the first female combat pilot of Indian Air Force?
Ans. Bhawana Kanth is the first female combat pilot of IAF along with two of her cohort, Mohana Singh, and Avani Chaturvedi. Bhawana is also one of the first female fighter pilots of India. In June 2016, Bhawana, Mohana and Avani were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron.
Q5. Who is the first female pilot to fly rafale?
Ans. Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is the first female to fly the French-made fighter jet Rafale. She is also one of only 10 women fighter pilots of India.