New Delhi, Dec 30 IANS | 9 months ago

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has made significant gains in its capability enhancement plans, its chief N.A.K. Browne said Monday.


Air Chief Marshal Browne said streamlined induction and speedy operation of new assets had afforded the force "unprecedented response capabilities".

Browne, who is retiring from service Tuesday, said IAF's prompt and cohesive response after the Uttarakhand floods helped save many lives and the achievement must serve as a matter of pride and inspiration for all its personnel.

The IAF chief said he was relinquishing command of IAF with an "immense sense of pride and satisfaction".

"More than 41 years of memorable association with the finest set of professional air warriors in the world has indeed been a matter of singular honour for me and a unique experience which I shall forever cherish," Browne said.

He said the IAF had collectively overcome many multi-dimensional transformational challenges over the past 29 months.

"Our organisational resilience, strong team work and pride in the service were the prime determinants of our remarkable progress. Operationally, we have made significant gains in our capability enhancement plans.

"The streamlined induction and speedy operationalisation of our new assets like Mi-17 v5, C-130J, Pilatus PC-7 and C-17 aircraft have afforded us unprecedented response capabilities," he said.

Browne said the IAF had demonstrated its newly acquired capabilities during two major exercises - Iron Fist and Live Wire.

He said competent handling of major maintenance and training challenges and progress made in areas like infrastructure have already started yielding positive dividends.

"Our progress so far has been hard earned, hence it mandates us to relentlessly maintain the tempo and continue raising the bar even further," he said.

"The enormous trust and respect which our countrymen have for the men and women in blue places additional responsibilities on us. I am proud of your collective achievements and am confident that as important stakeholders in IAF's growth story, you will continue to resolutely steer the course," he said.

Browne said professional and personal growth of IAF personnel had always remained at the very heart of all his plans.

"The sense of ownership and pride which was so evident during all my interactions with you gives me a keen sense of reassurance in our future ahead. Continue the good work with pride, integrity and a sense of belonging and stay grounded in our core values," Browne said.

(Posted on 30-12-2013)