The drive was flagged off by Air Marshal P.R. Sharma, Air Officer-in-charge, personnel, at the Air Force Station, New Delhi. Young IAF officers in customised Gypsies, along with support staff, will cover six cities - Gwalior, Indore, Nashik, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad - before reaching Nagpur, covering a distance of 3,000 km.
"The drive is aimed at close interaction with students in seven cities across central and western India to create awareness about the IAF in general, and career opportunities in the officer cadre in particular," the release said. En route, "Guardians of the Sky" will meet young men and women at nine premier educational institutes, including the IITs at Mumbai, Hyderabad and Indore.
"The drive would provide a great opportunity for students to experience glimpses of the adventurous life that IAF offers and of avenues available as an IAF officer.
For the IAF, this novel effort is a way of reaching out to the youth by offering opportunities in aero sports at their doorstep, to make them more 'air minded' and aware of the uniqueness of 'Brand IAF'," the release said. It said that at each location, a multi-disciplinary group of IAF officers would interact with students to provide details of career opportunities and answer queries.
An IAF adventure team comprising para-sailing instructors, powered hang gliders and a micro-light aircraft are part of the drive, the release said.
"Selected students at each institute would be given a unique opportunity to participate in para-sailing at a suitable location in the vicinity, while some others would also get to visit a nearby IAF base and soar to the skies in a microlight aircraft or powered hang glider," the release said.