The display commenced with flag bearing skydivers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. The flypast included vintage aircraft, modern transport aircraft and front line fighter aircraft. Indian Air Force officers who participated in the Balakot airstrike, flew three Mirage 2000 aircraft and two Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft in ‘Avenger formation during the event. The highlight of the event was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leading a MiG formation and flying a MiG Bison Aircraft. The ceremony concluded with a spell-bound aerobatic display.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Force Chief, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria assured the nation of the IAF’s sacred resolve, defending the sovereignty of the Indian skies and safeguarding the national interest at all cost. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and others were present during the event.
The President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister greeted air warriors on the occasion. In his message, President Ram Nath Kovind said the country proudly honours its air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. They safeguard the Indian skies with courage and commitment. He said, India remains forever indebted to the brave men and women in blue for their selfless devotion and sacrifice.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the sky guardians with their valour, dedication, sacrifices and skills are the pride of the nation and every Indian is always indebted to them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a proud nation expresses gratitude to its air warriors and their families. He said the Air Force continues to serve India with utmost dedication and excellence.