Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. The IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF.
About Indian Air Force in brief
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. The IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command of the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the Iaf. As of 1 July 2017, 139,576 personnel are in service with the Indian Air force. The Integrated Space Cell is operated by the Indian armed forces, the civilian Department of Space, and the Indian Space Research Organisation. By uniting the civilian run space exploration organisations and the military faculty under a single Integrated Space cell the military is able to efficiently benefit from innovation in the civilian sector of space exploration. It provides India with the capacity to provide rapid response evacuation, search-and-rescue operations, and delivery of relief supplies to affected areas via cargo aircraft. It has provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the tsunami in 2004, and North India floods in 2013. The first IAF air strike was executed in Burma, where the first Indian pilots were led by British RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant Cecil Bouchier.
In 1945, King George VI conferred the prefix ‘Royal’ on IAF in recognition of the valiant service by IAF pilots. During World War II, IAF played an instrumental role in halting the advance of the Japanese army in Burma. It was referred to as the Royal Air Force after the transition to the Dominion of India in 1950. It is the fourth largest air force in the world, with a complement of personnel and aircraft assets that ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. It also provides close air support to the Indian Army troops on the battlefield as well as strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. It has also undertaken relief missions such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka. In April 1933, the I AF commissioned its first squadron, No. 1 Squadron, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. On 26 January 2002, Arjan Singh became the first and so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF. He was the first Air Marshal of the air force to be awarded the title ‘Five Star Marshal’. He is the only Air Marshal to have ever been awarded the rank ‘five-star marshal’, which is the highest rank in Indian military history. The rank of Air Marshal has only been awarded on one occasion in history, to Arjan Singh in 2002, when he was appointed as the first five- star rank officer. The Air Force’s mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, the Constitution of India, andthe Air Force Act of 1950.