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SOURCE: ANI

The Garud Special Forces of the Indian Air Force will be marching on the Kartavya Path during this year’s Republic Day parade for the first time. Squadron Leader PS Jaitawat will be leading the Garud team as part of the IAF contingent and Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy will be the contingent commander.

India is all set to showcase Special Forces and made-in-India missile power on the occasion. This year would also see the first and last participation by Indian Navy’s spy plane IL 38 flying over the Kartavya Path on Republic Day this year.

The Republic Day fly-past will comprise 45 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters from the Indian Army, said Wing Commander Indranil Nandi.

Among the different formations by the IAF officers, Bheem’s formation will be new this year. It will be comprised of 40 deg Pitch-UP and SU-30 streaming fuel by three aircraft.

There will be a total of 13 formations like arrow, abreast, arrowhead, diamond and others by aircraft like Mig-29, Rafale, Jaguar, SU-30 etc, he said.

IL 38SD aircraft of the Indian Navy was decommissioned on January 17, 2022, after completing 44 glorious years of service to the nation. The aircraft was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1977 and remained a formidable air asset throughout its service life. The IL 38 was an all-weather aircraft with long endurance and substantial operating range.

The proceedings of the Republic Day Parade at Kartavya path will commence with the unfurling of the National Flag and presenting of the Rashtriya Salute to the President of India. The President would be assisted in the unfurling of the National Flag by Fit Lt Komal Rani.

The air warriors participating in the Republic Day parade have been selected through a stringent process from across the Air Force. The contingent undergoes an intensive practice session every day starting in the early hours of the day. The Contingent will consist of four Officers and 144 air warriors marching in a Box formation of 12 Rows and 12 Columns.

The Contingent will be led by Sqn Ldr Sindhu Reddy with three supernumerary officers Flt Lt Ayush Agarwal, Flt Lt Tanuj Mailk and Fit Lt Pradhan Nikhil.

The IAF has won the Best Marching Contingent trophy in the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2020. The award of the Best Marching Contingent in the popular choice category in 2022 was also won by the IAF.

The marching tunes for the contingent will be played by the Air Force Band contingent consisting of 72 musicians and three drum majors.

The band would be led by Warrant Ashok Kumar who has the distinction of participating in the RD Parade Airforce band contingent for the past 28 years and leading the contingent for the past 16 years.