Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the Indian Air Force's operational capabilities and deployments at forward locations on Wednesday amid the tense border situation with China. Singh also urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality on the border with China.Singh addressed the inaugural session of the Air Force Commanders' Conference in New Delhi that started on Wednesday. The minister appreciated the proactive response by the IAF in bolstering its operational capabilities over the past few months.He stated that the professional manner in which the IAF conducted the air strikes in Balakot as well as rapid deployment of IAF assets at forward locations in response to the prevailing situation in eastern Ladakh has sent a strong message to the nation's adversaries.Singh said that the nation's resolve to defend its sovereignty stands firm on the faith its people have in the capability of its armed forces. He alluded to the ongoing efforts for de-escalation on the Line of Actual Control and urged the IAF to be ready.He also praised the stellar contribution by IAF in supporting the nation's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the role played during several humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.He highlighted the need to achieve self-reliance in defence production and noted that the theme chosen for this Air Force Commanders' Conference ï¿½ ï¿½IAF in the Next Decade' - was very apt for enhancing efforts towards indigenisation in the days to come.The minister lauded the progress made towards enhancing synergy and integration within the three services since the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and creation of Department of Military Affairs.Singh acknowledged the air force's role in adapting to changes in technology and adopting emerging capabilities in nano technology, Artificial Intelligence, cyber and space domains.He assured the commanders that all requirements of the armed forces, whether financial or otherwise, would be fulfilled.Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria in his address stated that the IAF was well prepared to counter short term as well as strategic threats and the units were evenly poised to counter any aggressive action by the adversaries.
He noted that the response by all commands in ensuring deployment and readiness of forces was prompt and laudable. He emphasised on the need to focus on the ability to handle situations at a short notice for ensuring a robust response.During the three-day conference, commanders will review the current operational scenario and deployments before deliberating on building the IAF capabilities in the next decade to tackle all emerging threats.