IAF Chief stresses on ability to handle situations at short notice for ensuring a robust response

The rapid deployment of Indian Air Force (IAF) assets to forward locations in response to the prevailing situation in Eastern Ladakh has sent a strong message to adversaries, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said addressing the Air Force Commanders (ACC) conference that began on Wednesday.
Mr. Singh said that the nations 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 (LAC) and urged the IAF to stand ready to handle any eventuality, the IAF said in a statement. Mr. Singh also assured the commanders that all requirements of the armed forces, whether financial or otherwise, would be fulfilled, it stated.
Addressing the ACC, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria said 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 adversary. 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, the statement said.
Last week, addressing troops at Lukung near Pangong Tso during a visit to Ladakh, Mr. Singh stated that the progress in the talks with China should lead to a resolution of the issue, but stressed that there was no guarantee to what extent the issue would be resolved.
While some initial progress has been made in the disengagement from standoff areas, the second phase of the disengagement has been held up despite talks at the military and diplomatic level.
Since the beginning of the standoff with China along the LAC in early May and the combat fatalities in the Galwan clash on June 15, the IAF has raised its alert level and forward deployed its frontline fighters along the LAC. Its new inductions, the AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy lift helicopters, have also been deployed in Leh.
According to a defence source, Mr. Singh also said that it was incumbent on the armed forces to be prepared to respond both at a short notice as well as build and sustain military capabilities to deter any adversary in the long run. IAFs role in some of the most challenging circumstances is well-regarded by the nation. Their contribution during the nations response to COVID-19 pandemic has been highly praiseworthy, Mr. Singh said on Twitter.
Bolstering its capabilities amid the ongoing standoff, on July 29 the IAF is scheduled to induct the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets from France at Air Force Station, Ambala. The IAF had stated that its aircrew and ground crew had undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly advanced weapons systems and were fully operational now. Post arrival, efforts would focus on operationalisation of the aircraft at the earliest, IAF said on Monday.
During the three-day conference, the discussions would take stock of the current operational scenario and deployments and the plan of action for operational capability enhancement of the IAF in the next decade would also be discussed, the IAF said.