Actual life in Air Force starts from Air Force Academy. Cadets after getting trained by AFTT (Air Force Training Team) in NDA, move to Air Force Academy to be full-fledged pilots and are absorbed by the main stream of Indian Air Force. Also Air Force Academy serves as the base for training to all branches of Air Force. Since its inception in 1971, Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal has built a formidable reputation as the premier training institution of the Indian Air Force.

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Air Force training establishments are equipped with the state-of-the-art infrastructure and best of the facilities including institutes, swimming pools, squash courts etc. Once you join these training establishments, the IAF takes care of all your requirements like messing, lodging etc. and also gives you a monthly stipend during the last one year of training.

The Air Force Academy imparts training to Flying, Technical and Ground Duty Branches as well as flying training to officers of the Army and Navy. It prepares you, both in mind and spirit, to take on the responsibilities of an Air Force Officer. Apart from developing the required skills, you are also trained to inculcate the service code of conduct and etiquette that are expected of an officer.

Commissioning Branches Of Indian Air Force

Flying Branch: Cadets are trained as a Fighter pilot or a Helicopter pilot or a Transport pilot and are part of various peace and wartime missions. The various modes of entry into the Flying Branch are NDA exam and AFCAT exam.

  • Fighters
  • Transports
  • Helicopters

Technical BranchAs an officer in the Technical Branch, you propel and manage your team to ensure that the Indian Air Force remains airworthy. You would be in charge of some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world by joining one of the sub branches based on your qualification. One could join the Indian air force technical branch through AFCAT exam.

  • Mechanical
  • Electronics

Ground Duty BranchManaging human and material resources, the Ground Duty Branch is the mechanism that steers the Indian Air Force. One could apply for GDOC through AFCAT exam.

  • Administration
  • Accounts
  • Logistics
  • Education
  • Meteorology

How to Join Air Force Academy

1. Via NDA: Candidates who have passed matriculate, are eligible to join AFA through NDA. They first spend the three years at NDA Khadakwasla, and then are shifted to AFA for Stage-I flying training. Through NDA one can join only the flying branch of AFA if you have opted for IAF.

2. Via NCC SE (Men only): As an Air Wing Senior Division C Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), you can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force. Men can join the Air Force Academy to get training in flying branch through this mode of entry and will be given a Permanent Commission.

3. Via CDSE: Male graduates can apply for the flying branch through CDSE Exam held twice a year by UPSC.

4. Via AFCAT: Through AFCAT, girls and boys can join the flying (SSC), Technical (PC) and all Ground Duties Courses (except Medical & Dental). This exam is held twice a year in the month of Feb and August.

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Facts & Features Of Various Branch Training At AFA

Flying Training: If you have joined the Flying Branch, training is divided into Stage I, II and III. Before the commencement of flying training, you will first be provided technical training on the trainer aircraft involving theoretical understanding and practical demonstration on all systems of the aircraft. You will also be required to undertake a program in aviation medicine. Apart from a complete medical examination, you undergo a desensitization programme to prevent / overcome airsickness with the help of Yoga. The programme also includes practical demonstrations in a high altitude simulator. Flying training is provided to pilot trainees from National Defence Academy, the National Cadet Corps or directly from universities. Trainees other than NDA cadets are first sent to the Pre-Flying Training School at Begumpet for six months before commencing Stage I training. After completion of Stage I training of 24 weeks at Air force Academy. Pilot trainees are trifurcated into Fighter, Transport and Helicopter streams. Then they undergo stage II training of 24 weeks in their respective Flying Training Establishments. After Stage II training, the successful pilot trainees are commissioned as Officers and undergo stage III training. On completion of Stage III training, they begin operational flying at the squadrons / Units assigned to them.

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Air Traffic Control Officers Training: Training for Air Traffic Control Courses is conducted at the Air Traffic Officers Training Establishment (ATCOTE). The training is designed and structured on the basis of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) procedures. However, the specific military aviation requirements have been incorporated into the training syllabus. During the Basic Air Traffic Controllers (BATCO) Course, apart from a basic theoretical understanding of the various standards and procedures, you will undergo practical training on a state of the art Visual Tower Simulator (VITOSIM).

Ground Duty Officers Training: Air Force Academy conducts specialist training for all Ground Duty branches of the Indian Air Force. If you have joined the Administrative, Logistics, Accounts, Education or Meteorology branch, you will be trained at Air Force Academy for a year. The training curriculum is aimed at exposing the trainees to branch specific professional subjects and rigorous military training in order to prepare them for a challenging career ahead.

Joint Services Training: Unity of objective, sense of mission through common efforts, inter branch camaraderie and understanding of functions of other branches are vital requirements of military training. This is achieved through initial phase of joint training wherein, cadets of all branches undergo common training on subjects like General Administration, management, logistics, engineering, leadership etc. covering generic matter.

Training for Aeronautical Engineering Branches: Technical Branch trainees are imparted their initial phase of training of 22 weeks at the Academy. This includes general service training and military training.

Source: Wikipedia, Quora, Career Air Force