Wing Commander, the rank of the Indian Air Force, that is on the tongue of every Indian right now, few days before was not known to most of them. Thanks to the braveheart Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force.

Often the works of the Indian Air Force is overshadowed by the Indian Army. Because either people often mistakenly consider them as one or they can’t differentiate between the works of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.  There are many reasons for this:

·         For the last two decades Indian Air Force was not involved in any big counter terrorism operation.

·         They were doing the jobs of rescuing people, airlifting students with all their dedication. Whether it was Kerala floods or Tamil Nadu floods the Indian Air Force with their helicopters in those adverse conditions performed their duty of saving people very well.

Iaf during Kerala floodsIaf during TN floods

·         But the second point did not catch that much attention because when people sat together they talked like this: “Are Indian Army ne itne logon ko bachaya” (Hey, Indian army has saved that much people) thanks to the popularity of the Indian army and the stories of their valour which is often heard and seen.

·         Many credits to this situation also can be given to the film makers. LOC Kargil a film made on the mighty Kargil war. In that movie the Indian Air Force was hardly seen but in actual the Indian Air Force was involved in many big things.

·         Mostly movies come based on Indian Army so we don’t know much about the Indian Air Force.

·         That’s the reason why Indian people know ‘Lieutenant’ , ‘Colonel’, ‘Major’, ‘Brigadier’ , ‘General’ but are alien to the words like ‘Squadron Leader’ , ‘Air Marshal’ etc.

·         This situation is quite similar to the situation in USA where Navy seals are so popular that their other forces are overshadowed.

·         In many missions the Indian Air Force played the supportive role.

But on February 26, 2019 an attack was held on the terrorist camps. An attack that was fully operated by the IAF and with 100% perfection. First this caught attention of the Indians and a day after when a Pakistani F-16 tried to enter into the Indian Territory to destroy the military installations, the IAF responded with their Mig-21 and shot down the F-16. Unfortunately India also lost one Mig-21 and our pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army.

This incident combined with the courage of the Wing Commander made it remarkable in the Indian History.

Wing Commander Insignia

Why is this remarkable??

·         He fought a 4th generation aircraft F- 16 with the help of a 2nd/3rd generation aircraft Mig-21, he chased and shot down the aircraft which might have happened first time in the history.

·         After being captured he displayed no fear, ultimate calmness and infinite courage in front of the Pakistani Army.


Consequences of these two back to back incidents:

·         These two back to back incidents have put all the limelight on the Indian Air Force and now people are eager to know about it.

·         These incidents showed how professional the Indian Air Force is with their limited resource. If they are given world class resource they can be the best of the best in the world.

·         The story of the Wing Commander will inspire many to join the Indian Air Force and serve for the nation.


The surgical strike in 2016 & the air strike in 2019 just show us the might of the Indian Armed Forces. They are capable of doing anything. All the three wings Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are highly professional and the training they give to the cadets is A one. That’s why they often make us forget the prefix ‘im’ from impossible.

I hope in coming days I will be able to enlighten you with the help of my blogs, the stories of all the three wings of the Indian Defence.

Now today every Indian knows the rank “Wing Commander” so for everyone’s knowledge here I’m giving the Rank Structure of the Indian Air Force in descending order:

Ø  Commissioned Officers:

·         Marshal of the Indian Air Force

·         Air Chief Marshal (the rank held by Chief of Air Staff)

·         Air Marshal

·         Air Vice Marshal

·         Air Commodore

·         Group Captain

·         Wing Commander

·         Flight Lieutenant

·         Flying Officer

Ø  Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs)

·         Master Warrant Officer

·         Warrant Officer

·         Junior Warrant Officer

Ø  Non Commissioned Officers

·         Sergeant

Ø  Other Personnel

·         Corporal

·         Leading Aircraftsman

·         Aircraftsman

Note: By no means I was comparing any wing of the defence. So don’t take it in a negative way. All the three wings of the Indian Defence are equal and we should never compare any wing with the other because all of them are giving their today for our tomorrow.

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Thank You

Will be back soon

.               Jai Hind…..