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Combined Graduation Parade Held at Air Force Academy, Dundigal

Dundigal: The Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) was held today at the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal, marking the successful culmination of training for 235 flight cadets from the flying and ground duty branches of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), served as the Reviewing Officer, conferring the President’s Commission to the newly graduated cadets. The graduating officers included 22 women who were commissioned into various branches of the IAF.

The ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries from the IAF and sister services, as well as family members of the graduating officers. Additionally, nine officers from the Indian Navy, nine from the Indian Coast Guard, and one from a friendly foreign country were awarded ‘Wings’ upon completing their flying training. This CGP also saw the commissioning of 25 cadets who joined the National Defence Academy four years ago for Ground Duty branches, with five officers in the Administration branch, three in Logistics, and 17 in the Technical branch of the IAF.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari was welcomed by Air Marshal Nagesh Kapoor, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, and Air Marshal S Shrinivas, Commandant AFA. The Reviewing Officer was presented with a General Salute by the parade commander, followed by an impressive march past. The parade featured well-coordinated and synchronized fly-pasts by trainer aircraft, including Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II, Hawk, Kiran, and Chetak helicopters.

A highlight of the parade was the ‘Commissioning Ceremony,’ where the graduating flight cadets were awarded their ‘Rank and Wings’ by the Reviewing Officer. The newly commissioned officers then took an oath administered by the Commandant of the academy, pledging to safeguard the security, safety, sovereignty, and honor of the country.

The Reviewing Officer presented various awards to the top-performing graduating officers. Flying Officer Happy Singh from the flying branch received the President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for ranking first in the pilots’ course. Flying Officer Taufeeq Raza was awarded the President’s Plaque for excelling in the ground duty officers’ course.

Addressing the parade, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari praised the newly commissioned officers for their immaculate turnout, precise drill movements, and high standards. He congratulated them on their successful training completion and for receiving the President’s Commission in the IAF. He also extended congratulations to the officers from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and friendly foreign countries who earned their ‘Flying Wings.’

Declared as the year of ‘Transformation Through Upskilling,’ 2024 emphasizes the need for newly commissioned officers to acquire diverse skills 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,” the CAS stated.

Highlighting the dynamic nature of modern warfare, the CAS reminded the graduates that it is increasingly influenced by complex data networks and advanced cyber technologies. He urged them to adopt, innovate, and leverage technology effectively to secure victories in modern conflicts.

The CAS underscored the IAF’s core values of Mission, Integrity, and Excellence, emphasizing the importance of mission accomplishment, ethical conduct, and striving for excellence. He reiterated the IAF’s vision statement of ‘People First, Mission Always,’ urging new officers to earn their subordinates’ respect through professional competence, courage, character, and empathy.

The parade concluded with the newly commissioned officers marching out in slow march to Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Anandaloke,’ receiving their first salute from their immediate juniors. The event’s grand finale featured an enthralling aerobatic display by the SU-30 MKI, the Sarang Helicopter Display Team, and the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT).

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