On October 8, 2019 the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 87th anniversary on Air Force Day at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Air Force Chief, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and others were present during the event.
i. Air displays by various aircraft were commenced with flag bearing skydivers of the ‘Akash Ganga’ team. Display of ‘aerobatic’ skills were offered by a team of helicopters called ‘Saarang’ which is well-known for its aerobatic performances.
ii. IAF parade: During the IAF parade, wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman who shot down Pakistan Air Force’s(PAF) F-16 aircraft during a dogfight in February 2019, led the aircraft group of three MiG-21 Bison aircraft flying in ‘avenger’ formation. Balakot heroes Group Captains Saumitra Tamaskar and Hemant Kumar flew a Jaguar and a Mirage 2000, respectively.
iii. Squadron awards: Different squadrons involved in the Balakot airstrikes were awarded during the event. Abhinandan’s 51 Squadron was awarded unit citation by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal’s 601 Signal unit and number nine squadron were also awarded.
iv. Former Indian cricketer and Indian Air Force’s first Honorary Group Captain from sportsfield, Sachin Tendulkar, attended the Air Force Day celebration.
v. War memorial tribute: Air Chief Marshal, R K S Bhadauria, Army Chief Bipin Rawat and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh paid tributes at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.
About Indian Air Force:
Founded- 8 October 1932.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Commander-in-Chief- President Ram Nath Kovind