Indian Air Force Day 2021: Know its history, significance and some interesting facts about the Indian Air Force

India observes Indian Air Force Day every year on October 8 because, on this day, the Air Force in India was officially raised as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom in 1932. Every year, Indian Air Force Day is celebrated at Hindon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The celebrations are marked in the presence of the IAF chief and senior officials of the three-armed forces.

On this day, the most crucial and vintage aircraft put up a magnificent show which is displayed in the open sky.

History of Indian Air Force Day

Also known as ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena’, the Indian Air Force was established in the country on October 8, 1932, by the British Empire. The first operational squadron came into being in April 1933. However, it was only after the participation in World War II, that the Air Force in India came to be known as the Royal Indian Air Force.

The Air Force in India was officially raised in 1932 as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom. Since then, the day has been celebrated every year as Indian Air Force Day.

Indian Air Force Day 2021: Significance and importance

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm and a crucial organ of the Indian armed forces which plays a vital role in the wars fought by the country. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and conduct aerial activities during armed conflicts within nations.

The Indian Air Force has taken part in several wars since independence, including four wars with Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China.

Interestingly, the Indian Air Force not only safeguards Indian territory and national interests from all threats but also provides support during natural calamities in the country. Hence, the day is celebrated to honour and recognise the selfless efforts of our jawans and the entire force.

Some interesting facts about the Indian Air Force (IAF)

As India commemorates Indian Air Force Day 2021, we bring to you some interesting, lesser-known facts about the IAF.

– The Indian Air Force (IAF) is ranked the fourth largest operational air force in the world. Only the US, China and Russia are ahead of India.

– The motto of the Indian Air Force is ‘Nabham Sparsham Deeptham’, which literally means ‘Touch the Sky with Glory’. Interestingly, IAF has taken its motto from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

– The Indian Air Force employs over 1,400 aircraft and about 170,000 personnel.

– Hindon Air Force station, situated in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is the largest airbase in entire Asia. It is also the 8th largest in the world.

– IAF has always taken part in relief operations during natural calamities in the country, including the Gujarat cyclone (1998), the tsunami (2004) and floods in North India. However, IAF made a world record while rescuing civilians stranded during the Uttarakhand flash floods. The mission was named ‘Raahat’ during which the IAF rescued about 20,000 people.

– IAF has also been an important part of various operations such as Operation Poomalai, Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and more.

– IAF even works with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions.

– IAF has included a significant number of women fighter pilots, women navigators and women officers who provide their services to the Indian Air Force. Even the Rafale fleet of the IAF has a woman fighter pilot.

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