Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
08-October-2010 13:22 IST
IAF Showcases Impressive Parade, Air Show on Air Force Day
Air Chief Awards Presidential Awards, Unit Citations
The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 78th anniversary today



The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 78th anniversary today. A ceremonial Air Force Day Parade (AFDP) was held at the airbase in Hindan, near Ghaziabad commemorating the occasion. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik reviewed the grand parade. The impressive parade was led by Group Captain PK Vohra.  


The Air Force Day Parade is conducted every year to publicly pledge the continued dedication of the IAF in its service to the nation and to reassure all countrymen of its vitality and preparedness. The Air Force Day is celebrated to mark the significance of the Day (October 8, 1932) when the Act to establish the IAF came into effect. Significantly, this day also marks the commissioning of the first six IAF Officers.



The Air Chief presented 25 Vayu Sena Medals (VM) including nine for gallantry and 30 Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM) on behalf of the President of India, at an Investiture Ceremony held at the parade. He also awarded citations to four air force units – Helicopter Training School (HTS), No. 48 Squadron, No. 3004 Squadron and No. 27 Squadron, for excellence in performance.



The proceedings began with air warriors descending from the sky with the IAF and Akashganga flags carried by sky divers of IAF’s sky diving team. Later, the Air Warrior Drill Team and a breathtaking air show, showcased the capabilities of the IAF. The celebration culminated with a scintillating display by the Sarang Helicopter Aerobatic Team and the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team.



The backdrop at every AFDP remains an eye-stopper, and was equally impressive this year. Depicting “Aerospace Power”, emblazoned crests of the seven IAF commands with Himalayan Eagles were embellished alongside pictures of AWACS, Brahmos, C-130J military transport aircraft, CARTO SAT 2 B satellite, fighter aircraft and attack helicopters. The flanks on either side of the centre of the backdrop displayed snapshots of the varied fleet of IAF in action during various missions, including participation in international exercises with friendly nations and relief missions demonstrating all of IAF’s capabilities.     



The static display of some IAF aircraft and arsenal provided glimpse of the IAF’s awesome lethal strike capability. The equipment on display included Brahmos land attack supersonic cruise missile, MiG-29 air superiority fighter aircraft, MI-17 1V medium lift helicopter, Dornier transport aircraft, HAWK MK 132, Advanced Jet Trainer, Mirage-2000, Jaguar DPSA (Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft), MiG - 21 Bison, Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and Transporter and Loading Vehicles (TLVs) for the Pechora missile.


The participating aircraft in the air display included Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters, Dornier, Avro, AN-32 Transport aircraft,while the fighter included Jaguars, Mig-21 Bis, Mig-29, Mirage-2000 and Su-30 MKIs. The show-stoppers as always were the four-helicopter display by Sarang team in Advanced Light Helicopters and the nine-aircraft Suryakiran Aerobatic Team in Kiran jet trainers.







Helicopter Training School (HTS) is the alma mater of all helicopter pilots of the Indian Air Force.  The humble origins of this premier school dates back to 02 Apr 62, when it was raised at Palam, with a modest strength of two trainees and two Bell-47 helicopters.  The school has ever since evolved in stature and capabilities and today nearly a 100 trainees pass out of its portals every year, HTS also holds the privilege of being the largest helicopter unit of the Indian Armed Forces.   The unit, ever since its inception, has been at the forefront rendering aid to Civil Authority in the southern central peninsula.  It has rendered yeomen service by ensuring timely help during the unprecedented floods that affected Kurnool district last year. The air warriors of Helicopter Training School have shown their grit, determination, professionalism and most importantly, empathy for our countrymen in need. The unit has always reacted proactively and instantly, whenever called upon.  Be it cyclone relief ops in Sri Lanka in 1978 and in AP in 1979 and 1990 or flood relief ops in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1989, 2000, 2005, 2009 or for that matter, earthquake relief ops in Latur area in 1993.  In the 30 odd years since its move to Hakimpet, HTS has flown a staggering 856 hours in 986 sorties as aid to civil authority.  In these missions 3, 73, 662 lbs of relief material has been dropped and 326 souls have been airlifted/winched to safety.


For the highest levels of professionalism, dedication and untiring efforts in the face of the most challenging environments, Helicopter Training School is awarded the Unit Citation by the CAS.




Number 48 Sqn, AF was raised on 19 Nov 1959, at Barrackpore and has served in all operational commands of the Indian Air Force. The Sqn has operated Dakotas, Packetts, and AN-32 aircraft. The Dakotas of the unit were the aerial lifeline in NEFA till they were eventually replaced by the Packett aircraft. The squadron was re-equipped with the AN-32 aircraft and moved to its present location, Chandigarh in 1986. Since then it has formed an aerial bridge for the Indian Forces in J&K sector across the Himalayan Ranges. Other than regular air landing and air drop missions in Siachen glacier, Karakoram ranges, Indus and Shyok valleys, the Sqn has been undertaking air landing operations to Kargil ALG (advanced landing grounds) as well towards Ops Sadbhavna. In a quest to enhance the operational capability, successful night landings were carried out at Leh and Thoise airfields in July 96 and May 2000 respectively. The Sqn has participated and contributed towards counter insurgency, counter terrorist Ops and aid to civil authorities consistently in all sectors of the country


In the year 2008, the sqn displayed exceptional professionalism and grit by reactivating Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), the world’s highest ALG after a gap of nearly four decades. Regular ops to DBO ALG have been sustained since, contributing to IAF’s potential and morale for the Army troops. The Squadron has also successfully carried out trial landings at Fukche and Nyoma ALGs, located close to the Indo China Border. On 30 Oct 2009, the Sqn achieved another milestone when it carried out a company level para drop in a three aircraft formation at Nyoma DZ. The Sqn has proved its worth in overseas missions like ‘Op Pawan’, ‘Op Cactus’ and Kabul relief ops. The unit was also selected to participate in the prestigious Zhuhai international air show in China in the year 2008. The sqn was awarded the Presidential Colours by the Hon’ble President of India on 15 Feb 07.


For consistently setting exceptionally high professional standards, unstinting sincerity of purpose and execution of all assigned tasks with selfless devotion and steadfast dedication to service, 48 Squadron, Air Force is granted the Chief of Air Staff Unit Citation for the year 2010.






3004 Sqn was formed on the 20 Sep 2004 at Nalia with the designated task of carrying out intelligence through surveillance and Reconnaissance within the Kutch sector. In the course of its duties the squadron has been a source of real time imagery and intelligence of incursions into the Indian Territory which has been instrumental in countering and checking infiltrations. The sqn has assisted the Indian Army, Navy, Coast Guard and BSF in various missions. The squadron has also successfully flown a single continuous mission of 34 hours duration, a record with no parallel till date.


For its sustained good performance along the Line of Control in checking and preventing infiltration and related enemy actions thereby bringing laurels to the IAF Number 3004 Squadron is awarded the citation by Chief of Air Staff. 


For achievements in operational roles, 3004 Squadron is awarded the Citation by Chief of Air Staff. 




Number 27 squadron, the “Flaming Arrows”, was formed at Adampur on 15 Feb 1957. The squadron took part in ‘Operation Vijay’ for the liberation of Goa in 1960 and also took part in the1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts. The squadron was the first to be deployed at Leh during Op Meghdoot with Hunter aircraft in 1984. It was re-equipped with Jaguars in January 1985 with deep penetration strike and EW roles. It took part in Operation Safed sagar in Kargil sector in Jul 1999. The Sqn was the first to be deployed for Op Parakram on 16 Dec 2001. The Squadron initiated a new era of strategic reach for the IAF by being the first to carry out AAR (air-to-air refuelling) with IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft in March 2003.


In Oct 2009, the Squadron participated and excelled in the international exercise, ‘Ex Eastern Bridge’ with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) at Thumrait Air Force Base in Oman undertaking joint missions with the RAFO Jaguars and F-16 aircraft and achieved 38 out of 40 direct hits. The squadron also flew more missions in the exercise than the two Jaguar squadrons and one F-16 squadron of RAFO while maintaining 100% serviceability.


In Dec 2009, the squadron was deployed at Jaisalmer for Ex-Shock Effect. For the first time in the history of Jaguar aircraft, twenty 1000 lbs bombs were dropped successfully in one detail on the very first day of the exercise. Followed by this, in April 2010, the squadron participated in Ex-Abhyas where it accomplished all the assigned missions with 100% mission launch and serviceability throughout the exercise. The squadron has continuously performed all the assigned tasks with utmost precision, professionalism and dedication bringing laurels to the IAF in all their endeavours.


For achievements in operational roles, Number 27 Squadron, AF is awarded the Citation by Chief of the Air Staff.           


TK Singha/-