Indian Air Force (IAF) completes 88th year and since it has been established, it has come a long way through wars and operations protecting pride, security and integrity of the country. IAF completed its glorious 88th year and with grandeur entering into 89th. IAF has secured India’s borders on numerous occasions with its valour of brave soldiers.
Prime Minister’s Wishes On 88th IAF Day
एयर फोर्स डे पर भारतीय वायुसेना के सभी वीर योद्धाओं को बहुत-बहुत बधाई। आप न सिर्फ देश के आसमान को सुरक्षित रखते हैं, बल्कि आपदा के समय मानवता की सेवा में भी अग्रणी भूमिका निभाते हैं। मां भारती की रक्षा के लिए आपका साहस, शौर्य और समर्पण हर किसी को प्रेरित करने वाला है।#AFDay2020 pic.twitter.com/0DYlI7zpe6
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 8, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind’s Wish On 88th IAF Day
On Air Force Day, we proudly honour our air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. The nation remains indebted to the contribution of the IAF in securing our skies and assisting civil authorities in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) October 8, 2020
“The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October 1932. Its first ac flight came into being on 01 Apr 1933.”
While bravery and valor cannot be measured or timed, here are some instances of the IAF helping write history as we know it.
The first Indo-Pak war – 1947
India paid a heavy price for her independence – the partition. What followed were regular skirmishes, and four wars with neighbouring Pakistan – 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
1947 was the unprecedented test of our Army, Navy and Air Force together. Independent India’s first war where armed forces worked together to win the war.
Liberation of Goa – 1961
In December 1961, the army, navy and air force liberated Goa, Daman, and Diu from Portuguese rule in an action that lasted three days.
After independence, India asked Goa to be integrated, but the Portuguese didn’t agree. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru escalated the issue to the UN but nothing came of it.
The air force, in December, launched an offensive, bombing the radio station at Bambolim and at the airport at Dabolim. The attack was led by Air Marshall A Pinto Do Rosario. On December 19, the Indian flag was hoisted in Goa.
Indo-Pak war – 1965
The year 1965 saw Pakistan’s second attempt to invade Jammu and Kashmir. The IAF used 176 aircraft to fend off the attack from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
The war initiated with Pakistan Air Force attacking IAF’s three radio stations in the northern region.
Liberation of East Pakistan – 1971
The Bangladesh liberation war lasted from December 2 to 16, 1971. The three armed forces approached targeted from land, sea, and air to liberate Bangladesh. The air force shot down 94 aircraft of the Pakistan air force, and the IAF’s fighter aircraft MiG-21 shot to prominence for the role it played in the war.
On December 5 & 6, IAF continuously hit the targets as there was no aerial opposition. By the end of December 6, the land of Longewala had become a graveyard of Pakistan’s troops. Out of 40, 37 tanks with all the infantry equipment of the enemy were destroyed by a small fleet of IAF’s aircraft.
Operation Meghdoot – 1983
Siachen, at a height of 5,400 meters above sea level, is a critical battlefield. The IAF has, since the occupation of the glacier, played a crucial role in transporting supplies and men with its Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.
The Kargil war – 1999
The IAF played a crucial role in the 1999 Kargil war, deploying Jaguar, Mirage 2000, MiG 21s, MiG 23s, and MiG 27 aircraft. The air fleet bombed several ground bases. Due to enemy attacks, the attack pattern was changed, and the IAF deployed the weapon between 26,000 and 32,000 feet.
Besides the war operation, IAF has also rescued many lives in rescue operations such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2005 Kashmir earthquake, 2008 cyclone Nargis, 2013 Uttarakhand floods (Operation Rahat), 2015 Nepal Earthquake (Operation Maitri) and thi year’s Kerala flood rescue.
IAF – Fourth Strongest Air Force Unit In The World
- IAF is the fourth largest Unit after US, China and Russia with 1,70,000 personnel and 1,500 aircraft.
- Seventh strongest Air Force in the world and considered to be better than Germany, Australia and Japan.
- Its motto Nabha Sparsham Deeptham is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagvad Gita. The way Lord Krishna shows his divine form to Arjuna, in a similar way, the Indian Air Force aims to overwhelm adversaries with aerospace power to defend the nation.
- It has its own museum in New Delhi. It has a rich collection of memorabilia of Indian Military Aviation and displays the history of the Indian Air Force.
- Arjan Singh is one of the most respected Indian Air Force Marshals. In recognition of his services, he was awarded a ‘Five Star’ rank in the year 2002.
- From October 1, 1993, to December 21, 1994, the IAF took part in peacekeeping duties in Somalia as part of the Indian contingent supporting UN operations.
Nabha Sparsham Deeptham