The Combined Graduation Parade marked the culmination of rigorous training schedule of one year and heralds the entry of another generation of officers in the Indian Air Force.
Air Marshal S.R.K. Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, said the 107 helicopters that have been phased out would be used for static educational purposes at various institutions.
The MI-8s were inducted from the then USSR when they were shipped in crates to India.
The MI-8's served the Indian Air Force for 45 years after their induction way back in 1972.
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PRATAP was inducted in ten operational helicopter units and it operated in several major IAF operations including Operation Meghdoot in the Siachen Glacier and Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka. The craft operated extensively in humanitarian, rescue and disaster relief operations across the country including during the devastating 2015 Chennai floods of 2015, apart from ferrying many VIPs and VVIPs.
The official phasing out of the MI-8 helicopter fleet, the workhorse of the Indian armed forces, will be completed on Sunday at a farewell ceremony held at the Air Force Station, in Yelahanka.
The Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal is the premier training establishment which transforms the raw recruits, known as "flight cadets" during their training at Air Force Academy, into elite cadre of officers for the Indian Air Force. 112 Helicopter Unit based here at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka, is the last unit to operate this formidable platform.
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