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Know all about career opportunities in the Indian Air Force
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Anu Pandey

Know all about career opportunities in the Indian Air Force

About Indian Air Force

The IAF was established on October 8, 1932, and the force has engaged in several decisive wars and landmark missions.  With tasks and conditions that test one’s audacity, valor, gut and never-say-die feel each and every day, a career in the Indian Air Force is recognized immensely respected and fulfilling. It is the world’s fourth-massive air force. It has a base at Tajikistan and carries a world record for recovering the most number of civilians during a natural calamity. These are only a few of the many triumphs which tell us about the valour and proficiency of this wing of the Indian Armed Forces. If you figure out you have it in you to be a part of the Indian Air Force, here’s how you can do it:

Eligibility to become Air Force Officer

For all you Air Force candidates, a deep base in science subjects and an excellent performance in 10+2 will give you a substantial influence at cracking the entrance test.

Career paths in the Indian Air Force

Career Path: 1

The very first way is to join National Defence Academy, Pune which mainly trains cadets in three services. To get through NDA a competitive examination is taken twice a year i.e. in February and September. Only unmarried male candidates till 19 years of age can apply for the same. They should be class 12th pass or equivalent examination with physics and maths as compulsory courses.

Career Path: 2

Both male and female applicants can apply for the same between 20-24 years of age. They are expected to pass NCC Air Wing Senior div C Certificate. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any field with a minimal of 60% marks from a recognised university.

Career Path:3

Short Service Commission is for the applicants who aspire to turn into the technical officers in the Air Force. Aspirants must have a bachelor’s degree in any field and must have passed the AFCAT examination. Both male and female candidates between 20-24 years of age can apply.

Different branches in Indian Air Force

Flying Branch

Imagine piloting a plane that can reach faster than the speed of sound, kissing the sky, ricocheting over treetops, landing in uncharted territories – you can do all this and more as an Air Force Pilot. It links serving the nation by flying in support of Army and Navy activities, para-dropping supplies to military, handling the attack in the air, carrying out missions during natural catastrophes and much more. As a fighter pilot in the IAF, you can fly state-of-the-art fighter jet like the Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage-2000, and the Jaguar. The Indian Air Force also provides moments of flying haul aircraft, with airplanes like the C-17, C-130J, IL-76, IL-78 etc. You can also turn into a chopper pilot and fly Mi-17, Mi-26, Mi-35 heli-gunships etc. Testing your fortitude in the Flying Branch, you can push up all the way to the biggest ranks of Air Marshal and Air Chief Marshal. The sky is precisely the limit in this job!

Technical Branch

Not many careers provides the opportunities and scope of engineering that the Technical Branch of the Indian Air Force provides for its candidates. Working on  world’s advanced technologies like highly sophisticated aircraft and machinery, weapon operations, transmission and support techniques is what consists a career in this branch. The technical branch ensures the maintenance and over-hauling of resources with respect to technical facilities from the ground to the air. As a Technical Branch Officer, you will join the Air Force in the position of a Flying Officer and will be promptly associated with engineering tasks. As one develops in the work and gains experience, one is allocated with added duties of taking care of and training juniors.

Ground Duty Branch

If you think maintaining systems in demanding conditions is your business, then the Ground Duty Branch is for you. Everything from administering organization, commerce, machinery, establishment of educational resources for better  Human  Resource  Development and furnishing of machinery, ration and clothing for the force to untangling the subtleties of weather, and regulating air traffic is worked out by the Ground Branch.  The technique of governance and management evolved from archaic armies taking care of men and equipment in the most inimical conditions of war. Such scenarios challenge the best in kind of administration and human skills.

Women in the IAF

The IAF offers Short Service Command (SSC) for women in all branches – flying, technical and ground duty. Age and educational qualification criteria are the same as applicable to male candidates in all the branches. In the Flying Branch, engagement period will be 14 years with no extension, and in the Technical & Ground Duty Branches for a period of 10 years which may be extended for four years subject to willingness, service requirements and availability of vacancies. Wing Commander Shaliza Dhami became the first woman flight commander in August 2019, and she is also the first woman officer to be given a permanent commission with the IAF.


Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash 



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