If you have grown up aiming for the sky, then a career in the India Air Force is an apt choice for you
The dreams of a young boy for his future life are many— but I had only one. All I wanted to do was fly. The exploits of the Keelor brothers in the 1965 Indo- Pak war and the victory in 1971 still give me the goose bumps. There was nothing else I wanted to do but join the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The three years at the National Defence Academy gave me the basics of being a warrior and the Air Force Academy my coveted ‘ Wings’. To this day I remember the exhilaration of getting off the ground on my first solo flight in the venerable HT- 2 trainer aircraft—i just kept laughing, possibly it was the thrill of being free from gravity and being all alone in the air.
The past 35 years in the IAF have whizzed past, but every day brought something new and challenging with it.
The thrill of being the first to land on the Siachen Glacier way back in 1978, the sense of achievement in evacuating casualties right from the border, helping our brethren in natural calamities, becoming a flying instructor, flying new aircraft on becoming a test pilot, representing our Nation abroad in training courses, seminars and in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, and leading men and women as a base commander — the tasks have been multifarious and stimulating. There has never been a dull moment — the challenges keep coming, as the Air Force continuously evaluates and hones its capabilities to meet the requirements of our Nation’s defence and other tasks in aid to civil power.
The aviation field is highly technical and scientific. With the revolution in computing sciences and the advancements in technology, the IAF retains its edge in the business of war fighting due its superb engineers and technical manpower. The bulwark of support to do all this is provided by the dedicated administrative branches who work efficiently behind the scenes.
Are we paid well? The answer is that there is enough to have a comfortable living, give a good upbringing to your children, build a house, have good vacations with the family and still have sufficient for the rainy day. Frequent moves on posting? It happens sometimes for operational reasons, though the organisation goes out of its way to give as much stability as possible. And as part of the IAF ‘ package’ comes a social life, camaraderie, facilities for higher education, self- development, sports, adventure and a sense of contentment that no other Service can offer. Does anyone still want me to answer the proverbial question, what I would like to be in my next life?
All you young achievers who want a profession that gets you the adrenalin rush and a fulfilling life style? Join the Air Warriors of the Indian Air Force.
The author is Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM. He is Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff at HQ IDS.
Indian Air Force officers
AIR VICE MARSHAL M BAHADUR VM