Friday, August 19, 2005

My good old days in the Indian Air Force

It was in the summer of 1993 when I decide to join the Indian Air Force National Cadet Corps (NCC). I was 18 then, but I have always had the passion to fly and conquer the skies as a boy. Since I moved 2000 miles to the Capital, New Delhi from my hometown Shillong to start my university there, I joined the Delhi No.1 Air Squadron. Since then the Air Force was like family to me and I had the best 3 years of my life packed with thrills and adventures. I did all the flight and military training required and also all the other adventure sports which included sky diving, scuba diving, river rafting, horse back riding, sailing, mountaineering, etc offered by the NCC. I started flying gliders, then micro-lights and then moved on to the Cessna.

I was later selected as the best Air Force Cadet representing my Air Squadron and then I competed in the prestigious annual Republic Day Parade in 1996 with the best of the best in the country’s Army, Navy and Air Force. It was just an amazing experience for me to be in the same camp with all these amazing young talents from all the states across the nation. We also had foreign cadets from Singapore, Scotland, England, Canada, and Nepal in our camp. The completion was so tense both physically and mentally and I was in the top 5 of the nation.

Later on I cleared the Staff Selection Board exams at the Northern Air Command to be commissioned as a fighter pilot, but I was required to stay with the force for the next 15 years of my life as a bond according to government regulations. Anyway after graduating from university with my first degree, I decided to leave the Air Force and move on with my graduate study in Environmental Communication as I won the WWF Prince Bernard Scholarship for Environmental Leadership. It was a good move for me, but I will always cherish the best days of my life that I spent with my colleagues in the Indian Air Force.

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