"It is a very valid concern. These kinds of things have happened in our neighbourhood (Pakistan) and in last two years, there have been three such incidents there. We are very conscious of those things and all necessary steps have been taken to protect our assets. We are extremely vigilant," Air Chief Marshal Browne said at the 81st Air Force Day Parade Tuesday.
Calling the assets "expensive and scarce", the IAF chief in his speech at the event said "safety and security of these is our prime responsibility".
"While ensuring their physical security, there is also an increasing need to ensure security of our communication and information networks," he said.
Browne looked back at the year gone by as "quite challenging, yet extremely rewarding".
Mentioning the Op Rahat at Uttarakhand, he said it showcased the ability of air warriors to find "out of box" solutions to challenging situations.
Browne also said that the V5 helicopters will soon be inducted to "boost" the anti-Maoist operations.
Later asked by reporters about the IAF's attempt to attract youth by inviting cricketing stars like Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni, Browne said: "Sachin was supposed to be at the Air House reception today (Tuesday) but he had to cancel his visit due to a family function. You see he leads a busy life."
"As and when they want to and express a desire, we will think about that. Right now there is no plan from their or our side," he said.
The parade saw a riot of colours in the skyline as paratroopers dotted the sky flaunting the Indian Air Force flag and the tri-colour.
Different fighter and carrier aircraft of the air force were seen across the skyline, shooting flares and leaving a trail of smoke as enthusiastic crowds cheered.
The show was stolen by vintage aircraft Tiger Moth, an aircraft inducted into the then Royal Indian Air Force before Independence. The small bright yellow aircraft that bears the number HU-512 had served in the air force from 1940 to 1963, and made a flight after 50 years.
Vayu Seva Medals for gallantry were given to four personnel, Vayu Sena Medal for service to 14, while 28 got Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service.
--IANS (Posted on 08-10-2013)