Indians often keep themselves away from the things we should rightfully know about the armed forces. it is mainly because of the military terms which are difficult for civilians to comprehend. But none the less, civilians have always been curious about how things work in defense forces, may it be Army, Air Force or Navy. Of course, the 2019 Balakot Air Strike people have become more inclined towards the prowess of the Air Force than they were before. But before, we go for the details, let us understand a few basic facts about the Indian Air Force, which we all should know as responsible citizens of the country.
1. The story of Indian Air Force Day
India is celebrating its 88th Air Force Day on Oct 8 2020. But what is the significance of the day? The Indian Air Force was founded on Oct 8 1932 in British India and was initially known as the Royal Air Force. It was only in 1950, after India became a Republic when the word 'Royal' was removed from the title and Indian Air Force or Bharatiya Vayu Sena came into existence.
2. नभः स्पर्शम दीप्तम
'Touch the sky with glory' is the motto of IAF which has been adopted from the 11th chapter of Bhagvad Gita. The shloka is told by Shri Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kuruskshetra while showing Arjuna his supreme divine form, which is reaching the sky with glory.
3. IAF Flag
There is one flag for Indian Defense and Army, Air Force and Navy all of them have their own separate flags as well. The IAF flag is blue in color and has the national flag in the first quadrant and a roundel consisting of the colors of the Indian tricolor. The flag has been adopted in 1951.
4. Marshal Arjan Singh
We are all aware or have at least heard the name of Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw. In fact, we also have a movie coming about him. But not many know about Marshal Arjan Singh. The Field Marshal is the senior most officer of Indian Army, who holds 5 stars on his uniform and Sam Maneckshaw was the only officer to have held the position. In the IAF, Marshal Arjan Singh is the only Air Force Officer to have held a 5-star rank.
5. Air Marshal Padmavathy Bandopadhyay
Padmavathy Bandopadhyay is the first woman to become an IAF Air Marshal. She belonged to the Medical Corps and was the Director General Medical Services ( Air) at the Air Headquarters in New Delhi.
6. World Record
The IAF has a world record to its name for performing the highest landing at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh, at the height of 16614 ft. The landing was done with a C - 130 jet. The airstrip is very close to the LAC and is located at the base of the Karakoram Pass.
7. IAF Air Commands
The IAF has a total of five commands operating for it; Western Air Command (Capital Delhi), South - Western (Gandhinagar), Central (Allahabad), Eastern (Shillong) and Southern (Thiruvanathapuram). Besides there is also a separate training command operational at Bengaluru. Among these Western Air Command is the largest with 16 Air bases whereas the Central Air Command is the smallest with 7 air bases.