A Mission to Touch the Sky with Glory

A Mission to Touch the Sky with Glory Indian Air Force is the decisive sharing out of the Indian Armed Forces – the military forces of the Republic of India. It is the youngest service among the tri-services as compared to the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. But as far as the mightiness is taken into account, IAF unquestionably outshines the other two services. In retrospect, it was on the same day in 1932, Indian Air Force was officially established as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. With an infinitesimal strength of 25 air warriors, the first aircraft squadron had come into force on April 01, 1933. During the World War II, the IAF played a dominant role in blocking the encroachment of the Japanese army in Burma, where its first air strike was on the Japanese military base in Arakan. The IAF was actively involved in many vital manoeuvres such as strikes, close air support, aerial scouting, bomber escort, and pathfinding missions for Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Heavy bombers. During these operations, RAF pilots were embedded in IAF units and vice versa to gain combat experience. Consequently, the IAF pilots participated in air operations in Europe as part of the RAF. During the war, the IAF passed through a juncture of strapping development. In recognition of the services rendered by the Indian Air Force, King George VI conferred the prefix Royal in 1945. From then on, the Indian Air Force was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF), for quite sometime. No sooner India became a republic in 1950 than the prefix was slumped and it slipped back to the Indian Air Force. Thereafter, Indian Air Force continued with the same name, abbreviated suitably as the IAF. Today, the Indian Air Force, whose motto is Nabhaḥ spr̥śaṁ dīptam which literally means “Touch the Sky with Glory”, is celebrating the 86th  anniversary. Since independence, the Air Force in India has been involved in four wars with adjoining Pakistan and one with China. Worth mentioning here is the fact that India triumphed in every war with great sensitivity. Besides, the IAF had undertaken many other major operations. The IAF is just not cramped to conflicts rather it has been an active participant in various United Nation’s peacekeeping missions. The IAF today is a modern, technology-intensive force equipped with a wide collection of modern aircraft and support equipment, communication equipment, detection systems, and weapon systems. With both offensive and defensive striking capabilities, the IAF has full-grown to the echelon of second to none. The IAF is hovering at the doorsill of a new idea of modernization in keeping with the new security challenges faced by the nation. Air-superiority fighters, multi-role combat & strike, air defence, reconnaissance aircraft and Surface to Air Guided Weapon System are the backbone of the IAF. The IAF has served India with guts and efficiency in peacetime and war. It contributes to the stability and security of the region. The IAF has claimed a world aviation record by airlifting amass of civilians in 2,140 missions during the 15-day Operation Raahat to rescue victims of flicker floods in Uttarakhand. It is worth calling to mind the assiduous and starring role played by the IAF during the recent Kerala floods. The core values followed by the IAF make Indian Air Force, what it is! They strengthen mental and physical courage when an air warrior enters combat. In quintessence, they are the three pillars of professionalism that lay the foundation for armed forces leadership at every level. In accordance with the changing times and transformation in work culture, the IAF has singled out three core values that govern whatever an air warrior does, be it in peace or war or at work and in their personal lives. The three core values are – Mission, Integrity, and Excellence. The diligent efforts put in by the Indian Armed Forces make us settle secured. Jai Jawan Jai Kisan was a popular slogan given to India by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. The importance of soldiers and farmers was symbolised in this way. Yet, both the farmers and the soldiers are brought forth only during the crisis and calamities. In any case – on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the IAF, let us all think of the sacrifices of martyrs and wish the IAF a great success in each and every endeavour. Jai Hind! -Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi

Published by sumankasturi


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