ACES HIGH

If you have grown up aim­ing for the sky, then a ca­reer in the In­dia Air Force is an apt choice for you

India Today - - ARMED FORCES -

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.

CHA­RAN­DEEP KU­MAR / www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

In­dian Air Force of­fi­cers

AIR VICE MAR­SHAL M BA­HADUR VM

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