The Air Force Academy (AFA), the main training institution of the Indian Air Force at Dundigal in Telangana, has taken a milestone by totaling more than 20,500 flight hours in the past 12 months, the highest of the long and distinguished history of the Academy. The fact that he came amid the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic makes him all the more commendable.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, revealed it during the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the AFA on June 19, where he was the main guest. He commended the faculty of the AFA and other training institutions that are part of the IAF training command “for guiding, advising and teaching not only the fundamentals of a military leader, but also instilled to young officers the core values of the IAF of ‘Mission, Integrity and Excellence’.
A total of 161 air cadets from the flight and ground service branches of the IAF received the Presidential Commission by the Air Chief. He also gave “wings” to six Indian Navy officers and five Indian Coast Guard officers who successfully completed flight training.
Addressing the parade, the Air Force Chief of Staff reminded the young officers that they are entering the IAF at a time when a rapid infusion of new technology and combat capabilities is leading to a monumental transformation of the force. The Air Chief said: “I have always believed that the generation to which you belong is technologically skilled and well versed in the exploitation of the digital space.”
Highlighting the many changes in the operational methodologies and functioning of the Air Force, the Air Chief stressed that the operationalization of the automation and networking of projects was at the forefront of the agenda. He urged the young officers to take the plunge and prove their mettle, and make full use of the IAF’s planes, weapons systems, sensors and advanced technologies.
He said niche technologies and combat power had never been so intense as they are today and were needed to address the security challenges facing the country. He added that the role of air power is crucial in any conflict and that the IAF stands ready to meet these challenges.
Speaking to the media, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the force deployment given China’s posture in the Galwan Valley and other areas along the LAC and the Developments in the geopolitical situation in neighboring countries such as Afghanistan would be based on needs at ground level. . This need, he stressed, was closely watched.
Commenting on the current situation on the Ladakh front, the Air Chief said the sticking point disengagement plans were progressing through 11 rounds of talks. He added that the continued deployment of forces would depend on the situation on the ground. He said the basic deployment will continue in order to maintain security and added that when it comes to the IAF, it has the ability to deploy short-term as needed.
Commenting on the series of accidents involving the MiG-21s, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the incidents were not due only to aging planes and that the downtime of all planes was not the way to go. solution. Explaining that the MiG-21s had undergone an upgrade between 2005 and 2010, and that the current crash rate had remained about the same, the Air Chief said the MiG-21s would be phased out in the process. over the next few years.