On the occasion of the 86th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force, I extend my felicitations to all Air Warriors, NCs (E), DSC personnel, Civilians and their families. My special greetings to our esteemed Air Veterans and their families.
The Air Force Day is highly revered as it marks the birth of the IAF and is an opportunity for us to reflect upon our rich past with a deep sense of pride in our achievements. We salute our brave air warriors who have displayed courage and professionalism and ensured successful completion of all mission no matter how daunting the conditions. We also pay tribute to our brave martyrs’ who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. It is also an occasion to rededicate ourselves to the service of the nation and take a pledge to take the IAF to greater heights.
In the past few years, the geo-political environment has been rapidly changing and uncertainties have created numerous challenges to national security. The IAF is ever prepared to meet any contingency that challenges the defence of our country. In the year gone by, IAF has continued to grow from strength to strength and achieved a number of operational milestones. To face this dynamic environment the IAF is in the process of acquiring multi-spectrum strategic capabilities in consonance with the expanding national interests.
Towards Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief the IAF responded to the clarion call of duty in aid to civil authority in a swift and timely manner. Our brave air warriors continued to provide succour to our countrymen in times of need and demonstrated exceptional courage, selflessness and tenacity in the face of the most hostile and adverse conditions.
IAF has been actively involved in providing rescue and relief to cyclone, flood and landslide affected areas of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Tripura, Nagaland and Karnataka. The IAF provided timely assistance in fighting forest fires in Theni, Katra, Pathankot, Kasauli and even urban fires in Delhi. It required flying helicopters in the most challenging terrain and weather conditions in the world. In addition, airlifting of relief material to Myanmar, fire fighting on an Indian Merchant Ship and CASEVAC of pilgrims stranded at Kailash Mansarovar and Amarnath Yatra were also carried out.
The IAF has scaled greater heights of success in the field of sports as well as adventure. The performance displayed by our young Air Warriors in the various sporting events at the Commonwealth Games, International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup and the Asian Games was commendable. The Nation as a whole and the Indian Air Force in particular is extremely proud of their achievements.
The welfare and well-being of our personnel and their families continues to be of utmost importance. The IAF remains fully committed in its endeavour to provide a conducive working environment to one and all. A number of developmental projects on construction/upgradation of accommodation, messes, schools, auditoriums, sports infrastructure, medical and recreation facilities have been accelerated to enhance the quality of life and standards of living of our personnel.
On this occasion we take this opportunity to pay tribute to our veterans and acknowledge their outstanding contributions. It is their vision and tenacity of purpose that nurtured a fledgling air force along the path of progress. We are forever indebted to our pioneers who were unrelenting in the face of tremendous hardships during the formative years of the IAF. We assure them that we will continue to strive for excellence and ensure success in every mission that we undertake keeping in line with the values and ethos that we have inherited from them.
On behalf of all air warriors of the Indian Air Force, I compliment SP’s Aviation team for the special issue on Air Force Day and wish them success in all their future endeavours.