Combined Graduation Parade held at India Air Force Academy

The Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) was held at the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal on 15 June 2024, to mark the successful culmination of training of 235 flight cadets of flying and ground duty branches of the Indian Air Force.

Notably, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), the Reviewing Officer, conferred the Presidents’ Commission to the graduating flight cadets on successful completion of their training.

The graduating officers included 22 women officers who got commissioned in various branches of the IAF.

The ceremony was witnessed by a number of dignitaries from IAF and sister services as well as the family members of the graduating officers.

On this occasion, 09 officers from the Indian Navy, 09 officers from the Indian Coast Guard, and 01 officers from the friendly foreign countries were also awarded ‘Wings’ on successful completion of flying training.

This is also the first CGP where 25 cadets who joined the National Defence Academy 4 years ago for Ground Duty branches, were commissioned as officers. 5 of these officers have been commissioned in the Administration branch, 3 in the Logistics branch and 17 in the Technical branch of the IAF.

The CAS was received by Air Marshal Nagesh Kapoor, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command and Air Marshal S Shrinivas, Commandant AFA.

The RO was presented with a General Salute by the parade commander. This was followed by an impressive march past.

The graduating parade was interspersed by well-coordinated and synchronized fly-pasts by four trainer aircraft that comprised of Pilatus PC-7 Mk-lI,Hawk, Kiran and Chetak helicopters.

The highlight of the parade was the ‘Commissioning Ceremony’ in which the graduating flight cadets were awarded their ‘Rank and Wings’ by the Reviewing Officer.

The graduating officers were then administered the oath by the Commandant of the academy, where they pledged to safeguard the security, safety, sovereignty and honour of the country.

The Reviewing Officer gave away various awards to the graduating officers who 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 standing first in the overall order of merit in the pilots’ course. 

Flying Officer Taufeeq Raza was awarded the President’s Plaque for being first in the overall order of merit in the ground duty officers course.

Addressing the parade, the CAS complimented the newly commissioned officers for their immaculate turn out, precise drill movements and high standards of parade.

He congratulated the passing-out officers on the successful completion of their training and on receiving the President’s Commission in the IAF.

He also congratulated the officers from the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard and friendly foreign countries who earned their ‘Flying Wings’ today.

The year 2024 was declared as the year of ‘Transformation Through Upskilling’ and towards the same, he urged all the newly commissioned officers to learn different skills in order to become ‘multi-domain leaders’.

“Tomorrow’s conflicts cannot be fought with yesterday’s mindset.

The architects of new standards would always trump the followers of the old,” he emphasised.

Speaking on modern warfare, the CAS reminded the passing out cadets that modern warfare is dynamic and ever evolving, and increasingly influenced by complex data networks and advanced cyber technologies.

“As leaders, you all need to adopt, innovate and leverage technology effectively for proving decisive in winning wars,” he added.

Talking about the core values of the IAF; Mission, Integrity and Excellence, the CAS emphasised that mission accomplishment was of utmost importance, and vital for maintaining the direction, efficiency and overall success of an organisation.

On Integrity, he brought out how making ethical choices, upholding the highest standards of conduct and leading by example will inspire trust and loyalty with team members.

He also urged them to strive for excellence through consistency, discipline, positive attitude and passion for every task at hand.

Speaking on the IAF’s vision statement of ‘People First, Mission Always’, the CAS urged the newly commissioned officers to earn the respect of their subordinates through professional competence, physical & moral courage, character and empathy.

This cohesion and teamwork developed across the service would prove to be a force multiplier, he added.

The CAS wished the newly commissioned officers continued success for their future endeavours, before concluding his speech.

The parade culminated with the newly commissioned officers marching-out in two columns in slow march to the traditional notes of ‘Anandaloke’ by Rabindranath Tagore, while receiving their first salute from their immediate juniors.

An enthralling aerobatic show by SU-30 MKI, synchronous aerobatics by the Sarang Helicopter Display Team, and the ‘Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT)’ formed part of the grand finale of the CGP.

The commissioning ceremony remains reminiscent in the life of Air Force officers as they earn their ‘rank’ in the presence of their proud parents.