The blue skies of Air Force Academy turned vibrant with a colourful march-past on the ground and amazing aerobatics in the air by various aircraft of Indian Air Force on Saturday, which marked the momentous occasion of the graduation of 152 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force. The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff , Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Param Vishisht Seva Medal Ati Vishisht Seva Medal Yudh Seva Medal Vayusena Medal Aide- De- Camp was the Reviewing Officer of the Combined Graduation Parade wherein he conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ on behalf of the Hon’ble President of India to the graduating Flight Cadets who had successfully completed their basic and professional training. Commissioning symbolises their transformation from Cadets into full-fledged Indian Air Force Officers. A total of 152 Flight Cadets of whom 24 are women, graduated as proud Flying Officers to join the elite cadre of the Indian Air Force. The thrilling and exhilarating occasion was witnessed by the proud family members and friends of passing-out Cadets, as well as senior serving and retired Officers from the three services.
The Reviewing Officer was received at the venue by Air Marshal SK Ghotia Vishisht Seva Medal, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command and Air Marshal AS Butola Vayu Sena Medal Vishisht Seva Medal, Commandant Air Force Academy. The Reviewing Officer was accorded ceremonial salute by the parade followed by an impressive March Past. The highpoint of the parade was the ‘Pipping Ceremony’ in which the graduating Flight Cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ (Air Force rank) by the Chief of Air Staff, AOC-in-C Training Command and Commandant Air Force Academy. They were then administered the ‘Oath’ by the Commandant of the Academy in the presence of the Chief Guest and other dignitaries.
After the ‘Pipping Ceremony,’ the Reviewing Officer gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in training. Flying Officer Gajulapalli Navin Kumar Reddy from the Flying branch was awarded President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in overall merit in the Pilots’ Course. Flying Officer Suprabh Saxena and Flying Officer Renu Yadav were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.
Later, addressing the Parade, the Chief of Air the Staff complimented the newly Commissioned ‘Flying Officers’ for the exceptional standard of the parade and their decision to join Indian Air Force. Congratulating the passing-out Cadets, the Chief of the Air Staff said, “It is a matter of great pride to review the Combined Graduation Parade and welcome these fine men and women into the Indian Air Force as Military leaders and Aviators”. He emphasised in his address, the importance of core values of Indian Air Force namely, Mission, Integrity and Excellence and exhorted the passing out Cadets to uphold these values in professional as well as personal lives.
All the esteemed guests, including proud parents of the graduating trainees and various military and civilian dignitaries, were held spellbound at the grand ceremony. They were delighted to witness the magnificent parade by the passing out Flight Cadets and were awestruck by the spectacular movements of Air Warrior Drill Team. The spectators were mesmerised by the breathtaking aerobatic display by the ‘Suryakiran team’ and PC 7 aircraft.
The glittering ceremony culminated with the newly Commissioned Officers marching-out in two columns in the slow march to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune played by Armed Forces of the world when bidding adieu to colleagues and comrades, acknowledging the first salute given to them by their immediate juniors. They marched in absolute synchrony and with purposeful strides as they saluted the Reviewing Officer and crossed through the portals of their alma mater to take-on their future assignments and challenges unstintingly to “Touch the Sky with Glory”.
The Combined Graduation Parade holds a very special place for every defence Officer as on this day they pledge to safeguard the safety, honour and welfare of the country.