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SOURCE: ANI

Indian Air Force marching contingent led by Squadron Leader Rashmi Thakur with Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav, Squadron Leader Pratiti Ahluwalia, and Flight Lieutenant Kirit Rohil marched down Kartavya Path.

They were followed by the IAF tableau displaying the theme ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena: Saksham, Sashakt, Atmanirbhar’. The tableau commanders are Flt Lt Ananya Sharma and Flying Officer Asma Shaikh. A rotating globe placed on the tableau highlights the IAF’s expanded reach whereby it has been able to render humanitarian aid across borders, as also flying exercises conducted with Air Forces of Friendly Foreign Countries.

The front of the tableau depicts an IAF C-295 transport aircraft being flown by two women aircrew in the cockpit. The presence of IAF GARUDS also signifies the enhancement of IAF’s combat capability both in air, as well as on the ground. The new ‘IAF Ensign’ reflects the current values of the IAF by including the IAF Crest in the top right corner of the busign. The IAF Crest has the national emblem, the Ashoka lions, on top, with words in Devanagari “Bharatiya Vayusena”. Below the Ashuskathons is a Himalayan Eagle with wings spread, enclosed by a ring in light blue colon with the words The motto of the IAF ‘Nabh Sprisham Deeptam’ is inscribed below the Himalayan Eagle in Devanagari.

The middle portion with IAF Tejas and Su-30 flying over tIOR depicts the ever-expanding reach of the IAF – over land, as well as over the sea. Flight Lieutenant Ananya Sharma and Flying Officer Asma Sheikh, both Su-30 pilots present on the tableau in full flying gear reflect gender-inclusive approach of IAF to its functioning.

The GSAT-7A positioned on the tableau represents the IAF’s incorporation of space technology in its operations. The rear element of tableau shows that IAF has been at the forefront of rendering humanitarian aid, both within and across borders. It depicts one specific sortie of Op Kaveri mission during which an IAF C 130 extricated 3,862 Indian nationals from Wadi Sayyidna in Sudan under extremely adverse conditions at night. Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu commenced the celebrations of the 75th Republic Day on Friday by unfurling the national flag at Kartavya Path. President Murmu on her arrival at Kartavya Path was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Simultaneously, the National Anthem was played and the 21 Gun Salute was presented to the President. As per tradition, the National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute given with indigenous gun system 105-mm Indian Field Guns. President Murmu and her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who is the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day celebrations were escorted by the President’s Bodyguard- ‘Rashtrapati Ke Angrakshak’.

The Gun Salute was presented by the Ceremonial Battery of 871 Field Regiment (SHINGO) ex HQ 36 Artillery Brigade. The Ceremonial Battery is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Vikas Kumar, SM. 21 Gun Salute is the highest military honour presented to the National Flag from the Kartavya path. The gun salute is synchronized with three simultaneous actions viz-a-viz, unfurling of the National Flag, Playing of the National Anthem by the Service bands and the national salute rendered by the President’s Bodyguard.