Celebrations began early this morning with a ceremonial parade held at the air force station in Chandigarh to mark the 90th anniversary of the IAF.
The theme of this year’s celebrations was "IAF: Transforming for the Future". This aptly highlights the Indian Air Force's needs to redefine, reimagine and recalibrate to transform into a contemporary and future-ready force.
"It is my privilege to announce that the government has approved the creation of a Weapon System Branch for Officers in the IAF. This is the first time since the independence that a new operational branch has been created," said Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.
The move will essentially be for manning four specialised streams of Surface-to-Surface missiles, Surface-to-Air Missiles, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Weapon System Operators in twin and multi-crew aircraft.
Chaudhari also informed that the creation of this branch would result in savings of over Rs 3,400 crore due to reduced expenditure on flying training.
He also stressed the induction of air warriors into IAF through the Agnipath scheme and called it an opportunity to harness the potential of youth in India.
"We have changed our operational training methodology to ensure each Agniveer is equipped with the right skills and knowledge to start their career in the Air Force. In December this year, we would be inducting 3,000 Agniveer Vayu for their initial training. This number will only go up in the years to come to ensure adequate staffing," he added.
He also outlined the plans for the induction of women Agniveers starting next year and informed that the creation of infrastructure is underway and the streamlining of trade structure is being finalised.
Highlighting the jointness amongst three defence forces he said, "There is a need to plan for integrated and joint application of combat power. The key to success in multidomain operations is to have flexible, robust and redundant Command and Control Structures which will allow a joint force to dominate across domains. Work is in progress to enhance the jointness amongst the three services."
The IAF on Saturday began celebrations to mark its 90 years of foundation at the Sukhna Lake.
This is the first time that the annual parade and fly-past are being held outside Delhi-NCR.
The IAF conducted an hour-long air show at the lake with participation by nearly 80 military aircraft and helicopters, including the recently inducted indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) "Prachand" will showcase their aerial prowess during the fly-past.
(with inputs from ANI)