THE INDIAN AIR FORCE
- IAF today is well established on the path to becoming a credible aerospace force ready to face the dynamic technological global challenges through modernization and able leadership. It is firm on its commitment of “People First Mission Always” achieved through systematic approach to build up its strategic, tactical and nation building capabilities. As it enters the twelfth Five Year Plan period, the IAF is poised to acquire capabilities that would allow it to conduct network centric enabled operations across the spectrum of conflict. Military technological growth poses new challenges and provides unique opportunities to leverage new and current military capabilities in pursuit of national interests. In pursuance of this strategy, IAF has put in place a blueprint for an entire overhaul of the Air Defence network, acquisition of frontline combat aircraft with state of the art precision weapons and other enabling technologies. It has also bolstered its transport and helicopter fleets with the induction of C-130J special operations transport aircraft and Mi-17 V5 medium lift heptrs.
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RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING
Recruitment of Officers
- The policy for selection of officers in Indian Air Force is strictly on the basis of merit and is open to all citizens of the country. Being a technologically intensive service, the IAF strives to maintain high standards for induction of personnel.
- Induction of Officers. National Defence Academy (NDA) and Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE) entries through UPSC are prime feeders for the officer cadre through Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The non-UPSC entries for induction into the officer cadre are: Short Service Commission (SSC) (Men & Women) Flying, NCC Entry (Permanent Commission for men), Ground Duty Officer Commissioning (GDOC) (Non Tech) (PC for Men), Airmen Entry (PC for Air Warriors), Short Service Commission (Technical) (Men & Women), and Short Service Commission (Non Tech) (Men & Women).
- Recruiting through Service Selection Boards Recruitment through Service Selection Boards/Air Force Selection Boards is made for the Flying (Pilot), Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics), Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical), Education, Administration, Logistics, Accounts and Meteorology branches of the Air Force.
- University Entry Scheme: Final/Pre-Final year students in engineering disciplines are eligible for induction into the technical branches of Air Force as Permanent Commissioned Officers under the University Entry Scheme.
- Service Entry Scheme: Under this entry, serving personnel with minimum 10 years of service (of technical and non-technical trades) of the rank of Sergeant and above between the age of 36 and 42 years and minimum educational qualification as 10+2, are eligible for Commission after screening at unit level followed by Air Force Selection Board selection tests and medical examination. Service personnel of technical trades are inducted in the Technical Branch and personnel from Non-technical trades are inducted in the Ground Duty Branches.
- Recruitment of Women Officers: Eligible women are recruited as Short Service Commissioned Officers in the Flying, Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics), Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical), Education, Administration, Logistics, Accounts and Meteorology branches of the IAF. However, women who have joined training commencing in January, 2009 in Education, Accounts and Admin (Legal) branches in the IAF, would be eligible for grant of Permanent Commission, subject to vacancies available, fulfilling of eligibility criteria and suitability and Service requirements.
- Recruitment through National Cadet Corps (NCC): University graduates possessing NCC ‘C’ Certificate with minimum ‘B’ grading and 60% marks in graduation are inducted in the IAF as Regular Commissioned Officers by way of selection through the Service Selection Boards.
- Recruitment: Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR): The Selection of candidates for Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) is carried out through a centralized selection system on All India basis in which Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB), assisted by 14 Airmen Selection Centres (ASCs) located at different parts of the country, carries out the recruitment.
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COOPERATION BETWEEN THE INDIAN AIR FORCE AND CIVIL AUTHORITIES
- Indian Air Force is engaged in various civil aid relief measures. The Transport & Helicopter fleets of Indian Air Force have played a pivotal role in assistance to Central & State Governments during natural calamities and disasters. The airlift capability of the transport and helicopter fleet have seen a major enhancement with the induction of the long range special operations C-130J aircraft; which has been proven in the relief operations in the aftermath of the Sikkim Earthquake. The transport and helicopter fleets have continued to perform creditably by accomplishing allotted tasks, flying mostly over inhospitable terrain and adverse weather conditions. Some of the achievements are highlighted in the succeeding paragraphs.
- Air Maintenance in the Northern & North Eastern Sector: Air Maintenance operations by the transport and helicopter fleets of the Indian Air Force are undertaken in support of troops and civilian population in far flung areas and inhospitable terrain conditions in the North and North-Eastern parts of the country. The sustained operations round the year comprise airlift of food material, clothing, medical equipment etc. Air maintenance activities assume special significance in the winter months when snowfall and inclement weather conditions impede normal surface transport links to these areas.
- A total of 15,930 tonnes of logistics support load for the Northern sector and 2995 tonnes for the North Eastern sector have been airlifted since April 11, 2011. Routine flights are operated from Kargil to Jammu & Srinagar during the winter months.
- Logistics support to Border Roads Organisation (BRO): The transport & helicopter fleets of the Indian Air Force airlifted 640 metric tonnes of supplies in support of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Central & Northern sectors and at their posts along the international borders.
- Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations: Train Accident. IAF participated in relief and rescue operations in the aftermath of Howrah-Kalka train accident on July 10, 2011 near Kanpur. A total of 148 passengers and 600 kg of medical supplies were airlifted.
- Earthquake in Sikkim: Within hours of the earthquake in Sikkim on September 18, 2011, two C-130J aircraft were airborne from Delhi with 13 Tons of relief material and 220 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel. A total of 527 sorties comprising 294 hours on a variety of aircrafts and helicopters airlifted 252 tonnes of relief material and transported 1714 people in sustained operations until October 11, 2011. IAF helicopters undertook rescue missions wherein a total of 525 persons were airlifted from inaccessible areas to safe locales. Numerous sorties were flown towards sustaining Army units at the International Border, which included supply of diesel, fuel and emergency rations.
- Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) Flood Relief: In September 2011, the State of Orissa was hit by floods, affecting the lives and livelihood of 16 lakh people. In response to a call by the State Government, Indian Air force deployed one Chetak and seven Mi-17 helicopters in missions to provide succor to people in the affected areas. The IAF Task Force airdropped 118.64 Tonnes of relief material in 90 sorties entailing a flying effort of 116 hours.
- Evacuation of Foreign Nationals: The helicopter fleet of the Indian Air Force evacuated 28 foreign nationals since April 2011 from inaccessible high altitude areas of J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
- Power Supply in J & K Valley Restored by IAF: On January 06, 2012, Jammu and Kashmir experienced excessive snow fall, which resulted in a power failure across the entire Srinagar valley. In response to a request from the J&K Govt, the IAF took on the challenging task of assisting Power Grid Corporation of India in restoration of power supply to the valley. After an aerial recce of the power lines from Ramban to Banihal, a damaged tower near Ramsu village was identified as the main cause of power failure.
- On January 08, 2012, a repair team was winched down from a Mi-17 helicopter in inclement weather & gusty winds as there was no helipad in the vicinity. Within hours, the tower was repaired and power supply restored to the entire valley. The next day, the same crew undertook a similar task winching down four personnel to carry out further repairs in equally bad weather.
- Overseas Missions: SAARC Summit. One An-32 transport aircraft of the IAF was deployed in phases at Male from October 22 - 28, 2011 and November 02 - 15, 2011 in connection with the SAARC summit to cater to contingent requirements.
- UN Mission: The Indian Aviation Contingent deployed at Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo) comprising six Mi-17 and four Mi-35 helicopters, along with 303 personnel, were repatriated in two phases that ended in September, 2011. The helicopter fleet of Indian Air Force has flown a total of 235 sorties entailing a flying effort of 280 hrs during the period April to September, 2011 while deployed at these missions.
- Anti LWE Operations: In 2011, Left Wing Extremist (LWE) activities have been witnessed mainly in Assam, Western Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh. Four MI-17 helicopters of Indian Air Force have been operating since December 20, 2009 in support of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for anti-naxal operations. Four helicopters are deployed to assist security forces in LWE affected areas. Since induction, a total of 2492 hrs in 3602 sorties have been flown in support of operations to airlift casualties, passengers and loads. Additionally, on request of Ministry of Home Affairs, slithering training of troops has been conducted in which 1142 troops have been trained till date.
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- Director (Air-I), Tel No. 2301 1872 is the Web Information Manager of Air Wing of MoD.