“External Forces Will Not be Allowed to Violate Our Territory” Asserts CAS

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: Asserting that “external forces will not be allowed to violate our territory,” Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhuri who recently took over as the 27th Chief of Air Staff (CAS) from R.K.S. Bhadauria, pledged to provide “clear directions, good leadership and the best of resources that I can muster.”

Speaking at the air display show at Hindon Air Force base here to mark the 89th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF), he said that looking at the prevailing security scenario, he was acutely conscious of having assumed command at a crucial time.

“We must demonstrate to the nation that external forces will not be allowed to violate our territory. I pledge to do all I can to provide you with clear directions, good leadership and the best of resources that I can muster,” he said.

Stating that the year gone by had been quite challenging, yet extremely rewarding, he asserted that  “prompt actions in response to developments in Eastern Ladakh were a testament of IAF’s combat readiness. Our efforts in completing all COVID related tasks was also a major achievement in support of the national effort.”

Welcoming the guests who included Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Naravane, former Chiefs, AOC-in-C, Western Air Command and distinguished guests,  he appreciated the Parade Commander and all Air Warriors on parade for an exceptional display of discipline and josh.

“Your precise drill movements and immaculate turnout are indicative of high levels of morale, pride in your uniform and Espirit-de-Corps – all of which form the bedrock of the Air Warriors’ credo,” he said. “The security environment in our region and beyond has been impacted by a complex interplay of geo-political forces. Moreover, the advent of new domains – over and above the traditional domains of land, sea and air – have resulted in a paradigm shift in the way military operations will be conducted,” the air chief said.

He said in sync with the changing nature of war-fighting, ongoing capability enhancement in the Indian Air Force is aimed at providing the optimum means for employing air power and achieving desired effects across domains – swiftly and decisively.

The theme for this year’s anniversary celebrations – Atmanirbhar avam Saksham is most apt since with the ongoing acquisition of a high percentage of ‘Made in India’ platforms, weapons and combat systems, the Indian Air Force stands today on the threshold of an era which will redefine its stature as a potent Strategic Aerospace Force, he said.

Stating that the IAF  has been at the vanguard of indigenisation in domestic aerospace sector, and due to concerted efforts at all levels, a large number of low tech, low cost and high volume spares have been indigenised across all fleets, he felt that the need of the hour is to reassess and realign with emerging trends, in order to gain from ongoing efforts towards greater self-reliance in high tech items.

The Air Marshal said  several projects are well underway for harnessing the potential of Automation, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in order to transform the way we fight future wars. Praising the  young men and women who are joining the IAF as  highly competent and naturally adept in today’s digital world, he felt that there is need  to upgrade the operational training methodology so that these Air Warriors are equipped with the right skills and knowledge – for confident and audacious use in battle.

He was of the view that  “while we are actively pursuing self-reliance in hardware, innovative thought has historically been our core strength and I look forward to skilful and creative employment of these capabilities through development of our own unique tactics and ‘out-of-the-box’ operational plans.” Elaborating further on this subject, he said “while targeted training programmes are helping our personnel to develop the aptitude for mastering modern trends of aerial warfare, acquiring the right attitude is equally important.  Our focus on grooming and mentoring them as leaders for shouldering the onerous tasks should be sustained.”

“It is my firm belief that while we continue to acquire latest technology, there is a much greater need to devote our attention to the ‘people’ placed below us. As their seniors, invest your time and effort in nurturing and empowering your subordinates. I am confident that each one of you will treat this important task as your primary responsibility,” he said.

Air Marshal Chaudhuri was emphatic that IAF remains steadfast in its view that ‘integrated jointness’ is the way ahead. “It is also our belief that the core competence of each service, indeed, of all organs of national power must be synergised to generate the desired effect and capability,” and assured the nation of IAF’s  unwavering commitment towards delivering joint capability and generating integrated response options as part of a coherent national strategy.

He asked the Air Warriors to do their “best every day and I promise to do the same. We must look into the future with clear eyes, confronting the challenges before us and not forgetting the sacrifices made by our predecessors in service of the nation.”