President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed air warriors on the occasion of Indian Air Force's 86th anniversary.
Taking to Twitter, President Kovind hailed the contribution of the IAF in defending the country and said: "On Air Force Day, we proudly honour our air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. They safeguard our skies with courage and commitment."
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister tweeted "A grateful nation salutes our valorous air warriors and their families on Air Force Day. They keep our skies safe and are at the forefront of serving humanity in times of disasters. Proud of the Indian Air Force!"
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also praised the valour of the Air Force personnel, adding that their commitment is an inspiration for all Indians.
"On #AirForceDay I salute the brave men and women of the Indian Airforce. Their valour and commitment is an inspiration for all Indians. Jai Hind," Gandhi tweeted.
The official twitter handle of the Chief Minister of Kerala earlier in the day thanked the Indian Air Force for its relentless efforts to help the state during the floods that wreaked havoc in the state in August this year.
It is believed that the Kerala flood rescue operation was the largest disaster relief exercise the Air Force has ever conducted, with its powerful aircraft dropping relief material at several parts of the flood-affected state.
The Air Force Day parade, which commenced at Air Force Station Hindan in Ghaziabad witnessed air display and acrobatics by Sukhoi-30, Mig-21, Mig- 29, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Surya Kirans and Sarang helicopters.
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa reviewed the parade and serving as well as former air warriors attended the event.
Addressing the event, Dhanoa said "We are in the process of acquiring new combat systems, upgrading and organising our existing inventory of aircraft and weapon systems, with an aim to equip them with the latest avionics and technology, so that they remain contemporary. The mid-life upgradation of MiG- 29, Mirage-2000, and Jaguar fleet is already underway. Acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft, the S-400 Missile Systems, Apache Attack helicopters, and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters would further enhance our capabilities. The ongoing induction of Tejas-Light Combat Aircraft, Spyder, MRSAM, and state-of-art precision weapons are a part of a larger modernisation programme."
The Air Force Day is celebrated each year on October 8 to mark the anniversary of IAF's official establishment in 1932. The Indian Air Force Day is celebrated on the day of inception of this force in India to aid the Army that was fighting on land. It is attended by the chiefs of all the three Defence services, namely Indian Air Force, Army, and Navy. (ANI)