New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the proactive response by Indian Air Force (IAF) in bolstering its operational capabilities over the past few months while addressing the inaugural session of Air Force Commander’s Conference at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan) here on Wednesday (July 22).
The Defence Minister said, “IAF’s role in some of the most challenging circumstances is well regarded by the nation. Their contribution during nation’s response to COVID19 pandemic has been highly praiseworthy.”
Rajnath Singh said that the professional manner in which IAF conducted the airstrikes in Balakot as well as rapid deployment of IAF assets at forward locations in response to the prevailing situation in Eastern Ladakh has sent a strong message to the adversaries.
“The nation’s resolve to defend its sovereignty stands firm on the faith its people have in the capability of its Armed Forces, he said, and alluded to the ongoing efforts for de-escalation on LAC and urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality.
The Defence Minister also praised the IAF contribution in supporting the nation’s response to COVID-19 pandemic and the role played during several HADR missions. He highlighted the need to achieve self-reliance in defence production and noted that the theme is chosen for this AFCC – ‘IAF in the Next Decade’ – was very apt for enhancing efforts towards indigenisation in the days to come.
Rajnath Singh lauded the progress made towards enhancing synergy and integration within the three services since the appointment of CDS and creation of DMA.
He concluded by acknowledging IAF’s role in adapting to changes in technology and adopting emerging capabilities in Nano Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber and Space domains, assuring the commanders that all requirements of the Armed Forces, whether financial or otherwise, would be fulfilled.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who welcomed the Defence Minister and other senior officials from the MoD, said the IAF was well prepared to counter short term, as well as strategic threats and the units, were evenly poised to counter any aggressive action by the adversary.
He noted that the response by all Commands in ensuring deployment and readiness of forces was prompt and laudable. He emphasized on the need to focus on the ability to handle situations at a short notice for ensuring a robust response.