Srinagar, July 22: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that India’s resolve to defend its sovereignty stands firm due to the faith which nation’s people have in the capability of its armed forces. Rajnath Singh made these comments while inaugurating Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC). Earlier the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria welcomed the Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) and other senior officials from the Ministry of Defence.
A statement issued by Northern Command of the Indian Army said that Rajnath Singh in his address to the Air Force Commanders appreciated the proactive response by the IAF in bolstering its operational capabilities over the past few months. He stated that the professional manner in which IAF conducted the air strikes in Balakot last year, as well as the 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. “He (Defence Minister) alluded to the ongoing efforts for de-escalation on LAC and urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality,” the statement said.
Rajnath Singh also praised the stellar contribution of IAF in supporting the nation’s response to COVID-19 pandemic and the role played during several HADR (Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief) missions. He highlighted the need to achieve self-reliance in defence production and noted that the theme 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 (Chief of Defence Staff) and creation of DMA (Department of Military Affairs).
The Defence Minister 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.
CAS (Chief of the Air Staff) 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.