Nabhaḥ Spr̥śaṁ Dīptam (Touch the sky with glory) is the motto of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It can be traced to chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita. The history of founding IAF is connected to the 8th of October 1932. It was inaugurated by the Britishers to commemorate India’s participation during World War 2. India continued with the same Air Force even after independence but eliminated the word Royal in 1950( it was affixed by the Britishers). IAF is one of the most important components of the Indian Armed Forces and has successfully carried out certain operations in the history of India.
The foundation date of the IAF I.e. 8th October is observed as Indian Airforce Day. The Indian Airforce Day marks an occasion to celebrate the courageous pilots who tirelessly strive to secure the country and their countrymen. It is also an exhibition of the Indian Air Force’s strength and capabilities to the entire globe.
The President holds the position of Commander-in-chief of the Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force has around more than 1, 70,000 personnel currently and is the world’s fourth strongest force. It is headquartered in Delhi. Air Chief Marshal, a four-star officer is the Chief Of Air Staff (CoAS) of the IAF. The incumbent holder of this post is Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.
There has been only one event in history books when the rank of Marshal of the Air Force was given to someone I.e. Shri Arjan Singh.
IAF day is also a day to remember and inspire by the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers for the safety of the nation. The day is celebrated in all the air bases across the length and breadth of the country. Competitions are organized in schools and universities to create awareness among children about the role played by IAF in keeping India safe.
The valour of IAF is exhibited by the sheer number of operations it has participated in ranging from World War 2, wars with Pakistan, Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, and Balakot air strikes to the recent one Operation Ganga. IAF’s preliminary pursuit is to safeguard the nation from threats surfacing from the air and it conducts its activity in coordination with the naval and military forces. The air force also carries out humanitarian assistance programmes to protect civilians during crises.
Recently, the 90th Indian Airforce Day was commemorated in 2022. The 90-year-strong air force celebrated the day at the airbase at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh.
It was for the first time that the parade was held at a place other than the national capital, Delhi. The occasion was graced by the auspicious presence of the honourable President of India, Smt. Draupadi Murmu and Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh. Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari inspected the parade of air force officers. IAF also released a new uniform having camouflage imprints for combat roles. Approximately 80 aircraft decorated the event with their awe-inspiring performances. IAF Day is a special occasion that acts as a perfect mark of tribute to our brave soldiers who gave their life in the line of duty and reflects the spirit of nationalism.