235 cadets take flight at Air Force Academy in Telangana

Of the graduating officers, there were 22 women officers. The event also awarded ‘Wings’ to nine officers from the Indian Navy and nine from the Indian Coast Guard.
 IAF officers perform a paragliding stunt
IAF officers perform a paragliding stunt Photo | Vinay Madapu

HYDERABAD: Marching in a synchronised parade at Dundigal’s Air Force Academy, 235 flight cadets took an oath in the presence of the Commandant during the Combined Graduation Parade on Saturday. Vowing to safeguard the safety and security of the country, the officers who completed over a year of rigorous training were commissioned in different branches of the Indian Air Force.

Of the graduating officers, there were 22 women officers. The event also awarded ‘Wings’ to nine officers from the Indian Navy, nine from the Indian Coast Guard and one officer from Vietnam on completion of their flying training.

For the first time, the parade also witnessed the commission of 25 cadets who had joined the National Defence Academy four years ago as Ground Duty branches. Now, they have been inducted into the IAF in various branches like administration, logistics and technical services.

Addressing the parade, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), said that conflicts of the future cannot be fought with a mindset of the past. “As leaders, you all need to adopt, innovate and leverage technology effectively for proving decisive in winning wars,” he said.

The CAS also felicitated the graduating officers who had excelled in various disciplines of training. Flying Officer Happy Singh (from the flying branch) was awarded the President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for securing the first position in the overall order of merit in the pilots’ course. Flying Officer Taufeeq Raza was awarded the President’s Plaque for standing first in the overall order of merit in the ground duty officers course.

Cadets take part in the graduation festivities on Saturday;
Cadets take part in the graduation festivities on Saturday;PHOTO VINAY MADAPU

Noting that the graduation is only the beginning of a journey for the newly commissioned officers, the air chief marshal bid adieu and the officers joined their families to cherish the moment of pride.

Pulkit Ratra, 22, from Jammu recollected that joining the services has been a dream for him since his childhood. “His dream has always been to join the Forces. He had initially joined NDA but later started preparing for the IAF,” his sister, Simran, shared. “We come from a middle-class family, our parents are tailors. If he has been commissioned into the IAF today, it is all because of his hard work and planning,” she added.

Kamrati Vishnu, who hails from Hyderabad, however, found inspiration in his father, who has been serving in the IAF for many years. “I grew up watching the flying cadets play in the grounds. You can say, I have been training for almost eight years to reach this moment,” he smiled.

As the Flying Officers celebrated their success along with their families, the combined graduation parade ended with an aerobatic show by SU-30 MKI and synchronous aerobatics by the Sarang Helicopter Display Team and the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team.

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