Updated: October 9, 2021 4:50:14 am
PROMPT ACTIONS in response to developments in eastern Ladakh were a testament of Indian Air Force’s combat readiness, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari said on the occasion of the 89th IAF Day on Friday.
“The year gone by has been quite challenging, yet extremely rewarding,” the Air Chief Marshal said in his address, referring to the friction with China.
The IAF chief, who took charge on September 30, said, “I am acutely conscious that I assumed command at a crucial time as we must demonstrate to the nation that external forces will not be allowed to violate our territory.”
“It is our sacred duty to protect our 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.
Chaudhari also referred to the IAF’s efforts in completing Covid-related tasks as major achievements.
Earlier, he awarded three units with the Chief of Air Force’s citations, all of which were operational in eastern Ladakh last year.
The 47 Squadron, equipped with the upgraded MiG-29 aircraft, was deployed for air defence as well as air to ground operations in the Northern sector, and carried out extensive operations at high altitude role, said the IAF. It flew extensively and maintained a constant vigil to ensure that there were no “misadventures by our adversaries”, it said.
The 116 Helicopter Unit, based in Thoise in Ladakh, is equipped with Advanced Light Helicopter Mark IV (ALH Mk IV) Rudra. The IAF said that in May 2020, “after the Galwan skirmish, the unit was deployed for offensive operations at a high-altitude airfield in the Ladakh area” and “quickly established the first-ever high-altitude Attack Helicopter Detachment in the region and executed day and night operations, including air to ground weapons delivery at high altitudes”.
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