IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne on Friday expressed concern over invasion of the Internet and social media in the lives of young air warriors. This is threatening to affect them physically and mentally in critical situations.
He advised young Air Force personnel to build good old interpersonal relations and learn to balance social media habits with professional lives.
A cyber-driven environment is causing stress in the lives of young men and women and “[that] is something that bothers me a lot. I only hope these are not carried into the cockpit,” Air Chief Marshal Browne remarked after inaugurating the 53rd annual conference of the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bangalore on Friday.
He said, “Today my biggest concern is the increased usage of and exposure to cyber social space as well as the increased demands it places on the aviator and how he balances it with his professional space.”
The youth today is highly individualistic and the Internet and social media make it worse. But combat needs team workers. Air Chief Marshal Browne said, “We cannot operate in a standalone mode, we have to be part of a larger team. We also have to get back to the basics of developing relationships and team spirit.”
The Air Force is taking new measures to keep its soldiers healthy and fit and also to keep its cockpits occupied. On the one hand, it is encouraging its doctors to fly long distances on fighters to understand the pilots’ pressures and problems during flights. On the other, it is relaxing rules in select cases to allow post-accident soldiers to rehabilitate and return to work early. Procedures to evaluate soldiers’ fitness are being shortened and decentralised.
The Air Force is taking a humanitarian look at disability. It has retained in non-combat roles two outstanding, young flight lieutenants who were crippled in action. “I think every warrior who has served the nation must be retained. I would like the Air Force to focus on a people-centric approach,” Air Chief Marshal Browne said.
He later inaugurated an advanced toxicology laboratory at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine.
Air Marshal A.K. Behl, Director-General of Medical Services (Air), said the Indian Air Force plans to set up three new labs in the new field of metabolomics to help its doctors analyse accidents and human factors. It would cost Euros 43 million.