National

India: Fourth largest Air Force in the world celebrates Air Force Day

India: Fourth largest Air Force in the world celebrates Air Force Day
(A Rafale of the Indian Air Force)

Kohima, October 08 (NEx): Air Force day is celebrated every year on October 08, with main event at Air Force Station, Hindan near Ghaziabad.

The Indian Air Force was established on October 08, 1932 in British India as an auxiliary air force of the Royal Air Force. The enactment of the Indian Air Force Act 1932 stipulated out their auxiliary status and enforced the adoption of the Royal Air Force uniforms, badges, brevets and insignia.

(A Chinook of the Indian Air Force)

On April 01, 1933, the IAF commissioned its first squadron, No.1 Squadron, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. The Indian pilots were led by British RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant (later Air Vice Marshal) Cecil Bouchier.

(Apache of the IAF)

Post independence in 1947, the assets of the air force were divided. India’s air force retained the name of the Royal Indian Air Force. The RIAF Roundel was changed to an interim ‘Chakra’ roundel derived from the Ashoka Chakra. When India became a republic in 1950, the prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped from the Indian Air Force. At the same time, the current IAF roundel was adopted.

(C-130J Super Hercules)

From 04 wapitis in 1933, India now has the fourth largest Air Force in the world with over 170,000 personnel and 1,500 aircrafts approximately .