NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday praised the quick deployment by the Indian Air Force at the Line of Actual Control during the ongoing standoff with China and asked them to be prepared for any eventuality.
“The Defence Minister stated that the professional manner in which the IAF conducted the air strikes 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 adversaries,” said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The spokesperson added, “The Defence Minister alluded to the ongoing efforts for de-escalation on LAC and urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality.”
The Defence Minister was speaking after inaugurating the Air Force Commanders’ Conference on Wednesday at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan). The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, welcomed the Defence Minister and other senior officials from the Ministry of Defence.
Air Chief Bhadauria emphasized the need to focus on the ability to handle situations at short notice for ensuring a robust response. In his address to the Commanders, the Air Chief stated that the IAF was well prepared to counter short term as well as strategic threats and the units were ready 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.
Rajnath Singh praised the IAF's contribution in supporting the nation’s response to the 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 chosen for this AFCC – ‘IAF in the Next Decade’ - was very apt for enhancing efforts towards indigenisation in the days to come.
The Defence Minister concluded by acknowledging the IAF’s role in adapting to changes in technology and adopting emerging capabilities in Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber and Space domains. He assured the commanders that all requirements of the Armed Forces, whether financial or otherwise, would be fulfilled.
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.