As Chinese troops continue to be present at Finger 5 area of Pangong Tso in Ladakh, the IAF has been asked not to lower its guard

Without taking names of Pakistan or China, Rajnath Singh said the professional manner in which 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 the adversaries. He said so while inaugurating the three-day Air Force Commanders’ Conference.

While appreciating the proactive response of the IAF in “bolstering” its operational capabilities over the past few months, he said 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.

He also 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 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 DMA.

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.

In his address, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria maintained 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.