Parade on Air Force Day
The Air Force Parade marks the beginning of the celebration on October 8. All Air Force stations conduct their respective parades at their air bases. The traditional military parade follows the same protocol.
The bugle is heralded and the parade is marched in from the right. The contingent is comprised of usually four squadrons of two flights each and is commanded by a Wing Commander. The parade is accompanied by a band that plays throughout the event. Once the parade marches in to the parade ground, it is customary for all attendees to rise in its honor and all uniformed air personnel will salute the parade.
The ‘Nishan Toli’ is carried by a lieutenant in the middle of the ground. The Nishan Toli is a flag which symbolizes the bravery, valor and commitment to mission, integrity and excellence of the Indian Air Force. It was first presented by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country on April 1, 1954 to the IAF. Since, then this flag is most revered and is hoisted on important occasions.
The aircraft and helicopters deployed for various important missions like Operation Rahat and Operation Meghdoot are exhibited. Along with these, the new aircrafts ready to launch for various missions are also exhibited, its features and its purpose explained.
Origin and History of Air Force Day
Since its inception in 1932, the Indian Air Force has had a remarkable history of achievements. Adhering to its primary purpose of securing the Indian airspace and conducting aerial warfare during a conflict, the Indian Air Force has been involved in four wars with Pakistan and one with China. It also played an active role in World War II blocking the advance of the Japanese army in Burma.
Other important operations include Operation Vijay (to claim Goa), Operation Meghdoot (to capture Siachen Glacier in the disputed Kashmir region), Operation Cactus (rescue operation in the Maldives), Operation Poomalai (to air-drop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka) and Operation Rahat (rescue and relief of people struck by the flash floods in Uttarakhand). Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been instrument in the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions as well.