India would be celebrating its 67th Republic Day on 26 January 2016. As always, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be an integral part of the Armed Forces’ contingents during the Parade. The IAF’s participation shall consist of the aerial flypast, a marching contingent accompanied by the IAF Band, and a tableau.
The flypast comprises 27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Leading the parade would be the traditional ‘Ensign’ formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted ‘Y’ formation. The second and the main phase will be led by ‘Chakra’ formation of three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. This will be followed by the Globe formation comprising one C-17 aircraft along with two Su-30 MKI aircraft. The first fighter formation would comprise five Jaguar aircraft in the shape of an Arrowhead, followed by five MiG-29 upgrade aircraft in similar formation. The Sukhoi formation comprising three Su-30 MKI aircraft will fly in the last phase. The end of the parade will be marked by a single Su-30 MKI aircraft, pulling up vertically in front of the dais and carrying out the signature ‘Vertical Charlie’ rolls.
The Air Force Marching Contingent comprises four officers, including two women officers and 144 airmen. The Air Force contingent will march on the tunes of the Air Force Band.
The Band consists of 72 musicians. Three Drum Majors would play appropriate tunes selected especially for the occasion. While marching past the saluting dais, the band will play the tune ‘Galaxy Riders’.
The theme for the IAF tableau is ’Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by the Indian Air Force: In Service of the Nation and Beyond’. The design would showcase the IAF’s role in Uttarakhand, Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal rescue and relief operations by displaying models of C-17, C-130 and Mi-17 V5 aircraft. The IAF’s contribution in recent HADR missions has been exemplary and has earned accolades for the Service. Through this theme, IAF would be able to re-affirm its commitment to this crucial role in the service of the Nation, and increasingly, beyond our borders as well.