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Hyderabad, Dec 18 — Rajnath Singh, the Union Defence Minister, presided over the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy near Hyderabad on Sunday. The event marked the completion of one year of rigorous training for 213 flight cadets specializing in flying and ground duty branches of the Indian Air Force.

Among the graduating officers were 25 women, and the ceremony included the awarding of ‘Wings’ to eight officers from the Indian Navy, nine from the Indian Coast Guard, and two from friendly nations who completed their flying training.

During his address, Rajnath Singh congratulated the newly commissioned officers for their exemplary turnout, precise drill movements, and high parade standards. He emphasized the importance of maintaining openness towards new ideas and innovative thinking throughout their careers.

Singh highlighted the need to strike a balance between tradition and innovation, urging the officers to avoid the pitfalls of blind adherence to tradition. He underscored the importance of tradition as a time-tested foundation but warned against stagnation and called for embracing innovation to keep pace with evolving times.

The Defence Minister participated in the ‘Commissioning Ceremony,’ awarding ‘Stripes’ to the graduating Flight Cadets and administering the ‘Oath.’ The ceremony also included the presentation of various awards to trainees who excelled in different training disciplines.

The parade featured a synchronised fly-past by trainer aircraft, including Pilatus PC-7 Mk II, Hawk, and Kiran, along with Chetak helicopters. The event concluded with an aerobatic show by Su-30MKI, synchronized aerobatics by the helicopter display team ‘Sarang,’ and the ‘SuryaKiran’ Aerobatic Team.

The CGP showcased the high standards of training at the Air Force Academy, and the Defence Minister’s presence added prestige to the significant occasion. The graduating officers will now embark on their respective assignments in the Indian Air Force, contributing to the nation’s defense and security.