Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Friday said that the IAF's prompt actions in response to developments in eastern Ladakh last year were a testament to the combat readiness of the force.
In an address to the air warriors on the occasion of the 89th Air Force Day, the Chief of Air Staff also said that the IAF must demonstrate to the nation that external forces will not be allowed to violate its territory.
"As our challenges continue to rise, so does our strength and resolve to ensure best possible application of air power. When I look at the security scenario that we face today, I am acutely conscious that I have assumed the command at a crucial time," he said at the event held at the Hindon airbase on the outskirts of Delhi.
"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 direction, good leadership and the best of resources that I can muster," he said.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary said the year gone by was "quite challenging yet extremely rewarding".
"The prompt actions in response to developments in eastern Ladakh was a testament to the Indian Air Force's combat readiness. Our efforts in completing all Covid-related tasks was also a major achievement in support of the national efforts," he said. The Chief of Air Staff said the security environment in the region and beyond has been "impacted by a complex interplay of geopolitical forces".
"Moreover, the advent of new domains over and above the traditional domains of land, sea and air has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way military operations will be conducted," he said.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary said the ongoing capability enhancement in the Indian Air Force is aimed at providing the optimum means for employing air power and achieving desired results "swiftly and decisively".
"I will continue to rely on your skills, courage, determination and hard work in the years ahead. Remember that it is our sacred duty to protect the nation's sovereignty and integrity at any cost and you are to do what it takes to ensure that we do not let the nation down," he said.
IAF is celebrating its 89th anniversary today. On the occasion of Air Force Day, the parade was held at Hindon Air Base in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad.
Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari also presented the Vayu Sena Medal - Gallantry to officers. Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat were present at the event.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)