IAF chief Bhadauria visits Eastern Air Command, assures all support to Arunachal Pradesh
Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria on Wednesday assured Arunachal Pradesh of all support, including providing defence pilots to meet the shortage for operating fixed-wing civilian aircraft in the state, as he undertook a two-day visit to the Eastern Air Command. Before coming to Arunachal Pradesh, he visited forward areas in Sikkim and interacted with senior officers and personnel deployed there, the IAF said on Twitter. Bhadauria is on a visit to “air bases and advance landing grounds” in the Eastern Air Command, it noted.
The IAF chief, in his maiden visit to Arunachal Pradesh, called on Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra and Chief Minister Pema Khandu and discussed issues pertaining to the national security, recruitment of the state’s youth into the force and the IAF’s humanitarian missions in the state.
Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have borders with China. India and China are locked in an eight-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties.
Both sides have held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the standoff. However, no breakthrough has been achieved.
The IAF chief assured Khandu of providing defence pilots to meet the shortage of pilots for fixed-wing civilian aircraft to be operated in the state, an official statement said.
Discussions were held on Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) for Dirang and Anini, to which the IAF responded favourably, it said.
Khandu assured the IAF of government cooperation for defence preparedness.
The chief minister expressed gratitude to the IAF for being at the forefront of extending humanitarian assistance in the state, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor thanked the IAF for airlifting the people of the state during emergencies and suggested Bhadauria to conduct recruitment rallies to encourage youths from the state to join the force.
He recalled an incident when he had requested the air officer commanding of the Air Force Station in Assam’s Tezpur for a helicopter to air-lift a woman with complicated pregnancy from Tawang and it was carried out instantly and effectively.