One of the key components of the Indian defence mechanism, the Indian Air Force (IAF) ranks amongst the best in the world. Formed under the Indian Air Force Act on October 8, 1932 it has proved its mettle numerous times and fulfilled its duty of providing aerial security to the hilt.
As the Indian Air Force celebrates Air Force Day today, we bring you 10 awe-inspiring facts about the IAF that’ll make you proud. Check ’em out.
1. The IAF has a base in Tajikistan!
The Farkhor Air base located in Farkhor near Tajikistan is India’s first and only military base outside the country.
2. It is the 4th largest in the world.
With 1,380 aircraft, the Indian Air Force lags behind only U.S.A, Russia and China which makes it the fourth largest air force in the world.
3. The IAF created a world record while rescuing civilians during the Uttarakhand flash floods.
During its ‘Raahat’ mission in the wake of Uttarakhand flash floods, the Indian Air Force made a world record in aviation by airlifting almost 20,000 civilians.
4. Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was awarded the Param Veer Chakra.
He is, till date, the only member of the Indian Air Force to have been awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his exemplary display of courage during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
5. Empowering women. One Air Marshal at a time.
Padmavathy Bandopadhyay is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. She was also the first woman officer to become a specialist in aviation medicine.
6. The Indian Air Force has the largest air base in Asia.
Situated near Ghaziabad, the Hindon Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force is the largest in Asia and 8th largest in the world.
7. Welcoming women fighter pilots.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha recently said that the IAF is planning to induct women fighter pilots . As of now, there are around 300 women pilots in the IAF.
8. The IAF has its very own museum in New Delhi.
Located in Palam, Delhi the museum hosts some rare memorabilia of the Indian Air Force right from when it was formed in the year 1932.
9. The Garud Commando Force has the longest training course.
A special forces unit of the Indian Air Force, the Garud Commando Force was founded in the year 2004. With 2000 personnel, it has the longest training course among all the other Indian special forces. The Garud Commando Force is renowned for its skills and rescue operations.
10. Arjan Singh- The only Air Force officer with a 5-star rank.
Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh was the highest ranked Indian Air Force officer, with a 5-star rank, at par with that of a Field Marshal.
Way to go Indian Air Force! You make the country proud.