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IAF Chief Unveils New Ensign As The Force Marks 91st Anniversary


New Delhi: Indian Air Force Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari on Sunday unveiled a new Ensign on its 91st anniversary. The updated Ensign features the Air Force Crest in the top right corner, towards the fly side. The Air Force Day parade commemorating this event took place at Air Force Station Bamrauli in Prayagraj.

In a first, the Sarang helicopter display team has increased its degree of difficulty by several notches, transforming into a five-helicopter military display team. “Catch us perform the five aircraft display on the occasion of Air Force day on October 08 at Prayagraj,” the team posted on social media platform ‘X’.

Adding to the list of firsts, the recently introduced C-295 transport aircraft showcased its maiden appearance in an air display in India. Meanwhile, the legacy MiG-21 Bison marked what is likely its final appearance in an air display before the scheduled phase-out by 2025.

“We’ve not just navigated challenges but transformed them into opportunities. The present geopolitical scenario has allowed us to decrease reliance on imports by fostering indigenous capabilities,” ACM Chaudhari said addressing the parade.

The theme for this year’s Air Force Day, ‘IAF – Air Power Beyond Boundaries,’ aptly captures the inherent global reach of air power and its decisive role in future conflicts, according to the Air Chief. Emphasizing the worldwide operations of the Air Force, he highlighted its ability for rapid mobility, global reach, and engagement in various missions like rapid deployment, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and peacekeeping. The Air Chief underscored the importance of comprehending the evolving nature of air power to set the pace for maintaining peace and, if necessary, to succeed in warfare.

This is the first Air Force Day Parade to be led by a woman officer, GP Capt. Shaliza Dhami. She is also the first woman officer in the IAF to command a combat unit. Furthermore, the parade featured a groundbreaking all-women contingent, including the newly enlisted Agniveer Vayu women. Another noteworthy addition to the parade was the debut of the IAF’s Garud Commandos, commemorating their 20 years of dedicated service.

During the parade, the Air Chief presented Unit Citations to four IAF Units – 16 Squadron, 142 Helicopter Unit, 901 Signal Unit, and 3 Base Repair Depot, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the service.

Following the parade, an air show took place on the banks of the Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj on Sunday afternoon. The display showcased at least 108 IAF aircraft, including Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters from the Indian Army, a P-8I aircraft from the Indian Navy, and performances by the Surya Kiran and Sarang display teams.

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