New Delhi (India), Oct 10 : Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday inaugurated the bi-annual Indian Air Force (IAF) Commanders' Conference at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan) in New Delhi.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff welcomed and introduced Union Defence Minister Sitharaman and Dr Subhash Bhamre to the IAF commanders.

In the event, the Air Chief briefed the Union Defence Minister on the current status of IAF and the recent development.

In her address, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the powers that are being provided to the Service Chiefs should be fully utilised for achieving their capabilities. She even added that, "Air Force alongwith Ordnance Factory Board and DRDO should make an assessment about indigenisation under 'Make-in-India' programme".

The Union Defence Minister even talked about the budget that is allocated for IAF. She said, "The budgetary allocations should not be viewed as a constraint and should be looked at to acquire what is absolutely necessary. She said that the Government is committed to fill the gaps which have arisen due to lack of timely decision making in the last decade".

While addressing the Commanders, the Chief of the Air Staff emphasised the need for continuous effort and training to maintain IAF's cutting edge. He also reiterated the IAF's role as the first responder in most contingencies and thus the need to sustain the ongoing process of capability enhancement making use of the Government's thrust on 'Make-in-India' initiative.

The 3-day long Commanders' conference will be conducted till 12 Oct 17 wherein discussions will take place on various subjects that will decide the future trajectory of the IAF which includes operations, maintenance issues and various administrative initiatives that will be taken to enhance the working environment of the IAF keeping in focus IAF's core principle of 'People First, Mission Always'.

In correspondence with Government of India's 'Digital India' push two mobile Apps for Air Force Cellular Network (AFCEL) phones called 'MEDWATCH' and 'AFCHAT' will be released during the Conference. Various other initiatives like Online Testing and Evaluation and Online Entrance Examination to further the initiative will be covered. A book titled 'Aero India- Ascent through the ages' is also scheduled to be released during the conference. The new look Air Force Central Accounts Office (AFCAO) website with enhanced features will also be launched.

(Posted on 10 October 2017, 1675503072 44O192O38O49)