Fourteen women were among the 110 Flight Cadets who were commissioned into Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday as Flying Officers at a combined graduation parade at Air Force Academy (AFA) in Hyderabad.
The parade was reviewed by Air Marshal K V B Jayampathy, Commander, Sri Lanka Air Force.
Air Marshal Jayampathy conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ to the graduating Flight Cadets who successfully completed their basic and professional training.
He also gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in training.
Flying Officer Ankit Agarwal from the Flying branch was awarded the 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 Chayan Agarwal and Flying Officer A Varadharajan were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in navigation and ground duty branches respectively.
Congratulating the passing-out cadets, the Sri Lankan Air Chief cautioned that “at times one may have to take hard decisions which may not be popular or it may even a hurt few, but we should be guided by the larger interest of the Force and the Nation”, and advised the young officers to balance the sense of idealism with realistic ground situation.
The combined graduation parade marks the culmination of rigorous training schedule of one year and heralds the entry of another generation of officers in the IAF, according to a defence release.
The Flight Cadets undergo professional and advanced training at various institutions besides AFA -- Air Force Stations Hakimpet, Begumpet, Yelahanka, and Air Force Administrative College (Coimbatore) -- as per their specialisation and finally pass-out together from the portals of the ‘Sekhon’ Block of the AFA.
The parade was witnessed by a large gathering of military and civil dignitaries along with the family members and friends of the graduating Flight Cadets.
The astounding display by the IAF’s sky diving team ‘Akash Ganga’ dotting the skyline with colourful parachutes, the fiery aerobatic displays by the PC-7 MK II (the aircraft currently used in AFA to train greenhorn pilots) and breathtaking aerobatics by the Suryakiran Formation aerobatic team, Hawk formation team, Sarang Helicopter team and the Su-30 MK-I aircraft enthralled the audience.