Apart from safeguarding the skies and its national interests, the Indian Air Force had many honours and awards to its name. It regularly conducted military exercises with various friendly foreign countries and had an active part to play in operations involving disaster relief and natural calamity.
- Exercise Iron Fist 2016: IAF’s day-night exercise demonstrating its combat and firepower was conducted on 18 March 2016 at Rajasthan’s Pokhran firing range in the presence of President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The event comprised six packages depicting six themes in which more than 180 aircraft, including fighters, transport and helicopters participated.
- ‘Op Sankat Mochan’: At Least 149 Indian nationals were evacuated from the war-torn South Sudan’s capital city of Juba on 14 July 2016. The Minister of State for External Affairs, General VK Singh, flew to Juba with two C-17 Globemaster in what was named ‘Operation Sankat Mochan’, to evacuate more than 600 Indians.
- Exercise ‘RED FLAG-1’: As part of International Defence Cooperation, Red Flag Alaska 16-1, an advanced aerial combat training exercise was hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series), USA on 28 April 2016. There was a mix of combat and support elements participating from IAF, USAF and US Navy. The exercise was played under multiple simulated scenarios designed to provide realistic settings.
- Exercise Desert Eagle II: It was the second in the series of bilateral exercises between the IAF and United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF). This was a ten-day air combat exercise in which the IAF and the UAE AF undertook air exercises from Al-Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi starting from 22 May 2016.
- President Awards Standard to 119 HU and Colours to 28 Equipment Depot: The President Shri Pranab Mukherjee awarded the prestigious Presidential Colours to 28 Equipment Depot and Presidential Standard to 119 Helicopter Unit at a ceremonial parade, held at Air Force Station Jamnagar on 4 March 2016.
- Award of President’s Standard to 501 Signal unit and 30 Squadron: The President also awarded the President’s Standard to 501 Signal Unit and 30 Squadron on 10 November 2016 at Air Force Station Ambala.
- ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar’ For Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society: Recognising its efforts for developing football at the grassroots level, the ‘Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society’ (SMSES) was bestowed the National Sports Award ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar’, for ‘Sports for Development’ by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports on 23 August 2016. The SMSES organises the famous Subroto Cup Football Tournament.