DEFENCE Minister asks IAF to remain alert to face any contingency in the national interest

RAKSHA Mantri Rajnath Singh has urged the Indian Air Force to remain ever- ready to face any eventuality from across the border for protecting the nation’s territorial integrity and unity. Addressing the Air Force Commanders on Wednesday, July 22, he appreciated the proactive response by the IAF in bolstering its operational capabilities over the past few months. The professional manner in which IAF conducted the air strikes in Balakot and rapid deployment of IAF assets at forwarding locations responding to the prevailing situation in Eastern Ladakh has sent a strong message to the adversaries. Raksha Mantri said that the nation’s resolve to defend its sovereignty stands firm on the faith its people have in the capability of its Armed Forces. He alluded to the ongoing efforts for de-escalation on LAC and urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality. The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was inaugurated by  Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh at Air Headquarters  (Vayu Bhawan). Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria welcomed the  Raksha Mantri and senior officials from the Ministry Of Defence . He praised the stellar contribution by IAF 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. He lauded the progress made towards enhancing synergy and integration within the three services since the appointment of CDS and creation of Am. The Raksha Mantri 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.  He assured the commanders that all requirements of the Armed Forces, whether financial or otherwise, would be fulfilled. The CAS in his address to the Commanders stated that 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. During the three-day conference, commanders will review the current operational scenario and deployments before deliberating on building the IAF capabilities in the next decade to tackle all emerging threats.

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