Representational image
Representational image

No wonder the Indian Air Force is considered as one of the most formidable air forces in the world. It is the fourth largest air force in the world after USA, Russia, and China. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was formed under the Indian Air Force Act on October 8, 1932, and has over the years proved its mettle in various wartime and peacetime missions. On the occasion of Indian Air Force Day, October 8, here are 10 interesting facts that will make you proud. Check them out.

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) was referred to as the Royal Indian Air Force from 1945 to 1950, after King George VI. The prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped in 1950 after India became a republic.

  • Indian Air Force’s motto ‘Nabha Sparsham Deeptham’, meaning ‘touch the sky with glory’, is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

  • The IAF has over 60 air bases all over India, grouped into 7 commands. The Western Air Command is the largest with 16 air bases and the Central Air Command is the smallest with 7 air bases. The IAF also has a base outside India i.e. in Farkhor in Tajikistan. It is India’s first and only military base outside the country.

  • Since 1933 the IAF Roundel, logo on the IAF planes and flag, has changed four times.

  • The first woman Air Marshal in the Indian Air Force is Padmavathy Bandopadhyay. For her conduct during the Indo-Pakistani War in 1971, she was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

  • The IAF’s special force unit ‘The Garud Commando Force’ was formed in 2004. The unit today has over 2,000 trained personnel who conduct search, rescue and disaster relief operations.

  • The biggest civilian rescue operation in the world was carried out by IAF named ‘Operation Rahat’. The rescue operation was carried out using helicopters and was launched to evacuate people affected in the North India floods. The operation airlifted 19,600 people and landed 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.

  • 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 16,614 feet.

  • During the 1984 Operation Meghdoot, the IAF transport aircraft lifted hundreds of Indian troops to secure Siachen glacier.

  • The IAF museum in New Delhi is a rich collection of memorabilia of Indian Military Aviation and also displays the history of the IAF.

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