Ladakh face-off | Won’t let soldiers’ sacrifice at Galwan Valley go in vain, says IAF chief Bhadauria

Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria addresses a press meet, during the combined graduation parade at Air Force Station Dundigal on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria on Saturday said that in spite of unacceptable Chinese action after agreements were reached during military talks and the resulting loss of lives, all efforts were under way to ensure that the current situation was resolved ‘peacefully’ at Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

Also read | There has been no firing on the border since 1975

“It should be very clear that we are well-prepared and suitably deployed to respond to any contingency. I assure the nation that we will never let the ‘sacrifice’ of the braves of Galwan go in vain,” he said.

The gallant actions of our soldiers who lost their lives during the confrontation with the Chinese forces had demonstrated the resolve to protect the sovereignty of our country at any cost, he said, while addressing the media after reviewing the combined graduation parade of 123 flight cadets at Air Force Academy in Dundigal, around 45 km from Hyderabad.

“The security scenario in our region mandates that our armed forces remain prepared and vigilant at all times. The development at LAC in Ladakh is a small snapshot of what we are required to handle at a short notice,” IAF chief said.

Chinese air activity

Responding to a query on Chinese air activity over Tibet since the crisis in Ladakh began, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said, “In this period, normally China deploys a fair number of aircraft in the area for their own training. It happens every summer. But this year, the number of deployments has increased and, beyond May, it increased further. We are aware of what has been deployed and are monitoring the deployments and postures and have taken the necessary action.”

Also read: China lays claim to entire Galwan Valley

He said that the IAF had been flying combat air patrols whenever required, but there had been no incursion from the fighters.

“We know what their (Chinese) airfields are, where they are deployed and what are their operational bases are,” he said.

“We are aware of the situation, be it on LAC or beyond, be it their air deployments, their posture and kind of deployments. We’ve full analysis and we’ve taken necessary action that we need to take to handle any contingency that may come up.”

Earlier, addressing the flight cadets after paying tribute to Galwan martyrs, he said that they had chosen a fine service – one that had a rich cultural heritage and strong traditions built on the valour, sacrifice and toil of generations of Air Warriors. “The contributions by our esteemed veterans have been pivotal in changing the course of several wars fought by India since independence.”

“You will soon join frontline flying Sqns and other combat units equipped with very diverse yet some of the best war fighting equipment in the world. You would need to continue to work hard for achieving requisite proficiency and attaining competency in your chosen field,” he said.

Also read: Ladakh face-off | No outsiders on Indian territory, Narendra Modi tells all-party meeting

“While the weapons, platforms and environment may change, our work ethos and traditions will forever guide our actions for achieving excellence in every mission,” the Air Force chief said.

“Always uphold the ethos and culture of IAF, which are resting on the cornerstone of ‘People First Mission Always’, he said.

“As the nation fights the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic, IAF has taken a number of proactive measures to counter the spread and disruption in our work. We have successfully preserved our combat potential and adjusted our training and operational methodology to resume full operations,” the officer added.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 10:22:13 AM |

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