IAF Chief on a sortie in Pilatus PC-7 MkII
The morning of June 21, 2014, saw the officer who graduated 39 years ago, come back as Chief Guest to review the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff, reviewed the parade of 193 flight cadets belonging to Pilot, Navigation and Ground Duty streams.
Congratulating the passing out course, the Air Chief said, “It is a matter of great honour to review the combined graduation parade and welcome these fine men and women into the Indian Air Force as military leaders and aviators. My congratulations to the officers who have been awarded the President’s Commission this morning, an honour which you have earned through hard work and on successful completion of a demanding training curriculum. My felicitations to the six officers of the Indian Navy for earning their coveted ‘Wings.’ ”
The Air Force Academy (AFA), as a cradle of military aviation, provides a unique environment for joint training of cadets of all branches and forge lifelong bonds of camaraderie, cohesiveness and ésprit de corps. With a distinguished training record to its credit, AFA is at the vanguard of a comprehensive upgrade in IAF’s training pattern and infrastructure. This Academy has successfully inducted and operationalised the PC-7 Mk II as IAF’s basic trainer aircraft and has ushered in an era of modern flying training with high standards of safety and reliability. The President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in overall order of merit in Pilot’s Course was awarded to Flying Officer Anil Kumar while Flying Officer Durgesh Kumar and Flying Officer Satheesh Kumar were awarded the President’s Plaque for standing first in overall order of merit in Ground Duties Branches and Navigation Branch respectively.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha also flew a sortie in the basic trainer Pilatus PC-7 MkII aircraft at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Hyderabad, on June 20, 2014.