The Indian Air Force on Sunday is proudly celebrating its 85th anniversary or Raising Day. October 8 is celebrated as Air Force Day in India. It commemorates the anniversary of the official foundation of the Indian Air Force in 1932.
The Indian Air Force, the air arm of the Indian armed forces, is entrusted with the prime responsibility of safeguarding the Indian airspace as well as to carry out aerial warfare on enemy aircrafts and destroy strategic installations during war time.
The Indian Air Force is not only the fourth largest Air Force in the world but also one of the most potent strike forces with the state of art fighter aircrafts and cutting edge weaponry it has at its disposal.
Besides actively taking part in four major operations in the Indo-Pak wars, the 1962 Indo-China War and the 1999 Kargil War, the Air Force has also played a pivotal role in providing rescue and relief operations to citizens of the country at time of natural disasters and calamities. The IAF has kept the Indian Flag high with an impeccable record in US peace keeping missions.
So on the 85th anniversary of the IAF, here are ten interesting facts about the Guardians of the Sky which makes you feel proud as an Indian
#The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world with approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,500 aircrafts.
#Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra.
#The honourary rank of Marshal of the Indian Air Force is the highest achievable rank, and is equivalent to the rank of Field Marshal of the Indian Army. Air Marshal Arjan Singh had the distinction of being the only officer to be conferred with the rank
#The IAF got its first woman Air Marshal in the form of Padmavathy Bandopadhyay.
#The motto of the IAF 'Nabha Sparsham Deeptam' meaning Touch the Sky with Glory has been taken from the Geetopdesh.
#With 16 air bases, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command. The Air Force has over 60 air bases spread all over India.
#IAF has a base located in Farkhor, Tajikistan. It is Indian Air Force's only base outside India.
#At 22,000 ft (or 6,706 m), Siachen Glacier AFS is the highest Air Force Station of the IAF.
#The IAF created a world record by performing the highest landing of a C-130J at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16614 feet (5065 meters).
#The IAF is the only air force that operates C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules, and Il-76 – the three largest transport aircrafts.