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The Indian Air Force, the air division of the Indian Armed Forces, has been securing the country’s airspace since its official establishment in year 1932. As per the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies), the total strength of the Indian air force is 1.27 lakh active personals. The latest publication of ‘World Air Force 2016’ shows that there are as many as 1588 aircraft in the service of IAF.
The history of IAF dates back to year 1932, when it was set-up as an auxiliary air-force (a part of the Royal Air Force) by the British India. The IAF played an imperative role in the World War II by attacking the Japanese base in Arakan and blocking their advance in Burma. After the Independence in 1947, the assets of the Air-force divided into India and Pakistan according to the geographical partition.
IAF has been playing a significant role in various conflicts and wars since India’s independence including the Congo crisis and capture of Goa (1960–1961), Bangladesh Liberation War (1971), Incidents before Kargil (1984–1988) and Kargil War (1999).
Talking about its organizational structure, the Indian Air Force carries 7 commands out of which 5 are operational and 2 are functional. The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces.
The commander of IAF is the chief of air staff with the rank of Air Chief Marshal. All the IAF commands come under an Air Officer Commander-in-chief having the rank of Air Marshal. The structure is further divided in the order of commands, wings and squadrons