New Delhi: “The nation is proud of the Indian Air Force and its professionalism,” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurating the two-day second bi-annual IAF Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi November 25.
Singh, who was welcomed by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik, Defence Secretary Dr Akay Kumar and other senior officials, lauded the “air warriors and their families for giving us a most competent and combat worthy force. The IAF has proven itself time and again. It has earned the respect of foreign air forces who are eager to cooperate as well as exercise with us.”
He said the government was “strengthening our defence capability through increased domestic production and reduced dependence on import of military hardware. We have to seize new opportunities for indigenous design and development and I appreciate the IAF’s effort in this regard.”
The Defence Minister urged the Air Force Commanders to use the Conference for developing strategies against future challenges and enhancing IAF’s capability. “The IAF is growing steadily towards becoming a truly strategic aerospace power,” he said.
Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria briefed the Minister on the current status of the IAF.
Addressing the Commanders, the Air Chief emphasised the need for further enhancing operational capabilities to deter any misadventure by adversaries. He highlighted the need for continuous enhancement of in-house maintenance capabilities and optimum utilisation of new inductions in order to make IAF a formidable combat force. He also emphasised the need for enhanced joint training with the Indian Army as well as the Indian Navy for fostering jointmanship and ensuring national security.
The Commanders’ Conference will discuss a wide range of subjects including joint operations, anti-drone operations, countering asymmetric warfare and further strengthening precision targeting, cyber and information warfare capability. Issues pertaining to indigenisation, streamlining procurement of equipment, strengthening training and optimisation of the HR policies would also be discussed during this Conference.