Newly appointed Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari on Friday said that his first priority is to ensure the safety of the nation through the appropriate and correct use of the “airpower”. The Chief of Air Staff also pointed out that there is a lot of potential in the “Air warriors” and has the capability to learn more and to be able to prepare for future wars.
Speaking to ANI, Chaudhari said, “My first priority would be to ensure that safety of the nation is assured through the appropriate and correct use of the airpower. Secondly, to be able to train, motivate and equip all our personnel to take on challenges of future warfare.” “Next, would be to take giant steps towards Aatmanirbharta making us self-reliant in all respects,” he said.
When asked about the IAF’s role in managing the situation at the borders, the Chief of Air Staff said: “There is a lot of potential in all our Air warriors, we have the capability to learn more to be able to prepare for future wars.” “Through correct training, use of all present equipment and what we are getting in future, correct utilisation of all equipment and manpower,” he said.
Speaking about the Indian Air Force’s steps in the direction of ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Air Chief Marshal stated that the IAF has signed the contract for 83 light combat aircraft (LCA), the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and LCA-Mk2 are on the cards. “The surface-to-air guided weapons and a whole lot of other equipment are on the cards. We will ensure that our focus towards Aatmanirbharta will continue in all our procurement plans,” he added.
Chaudhari took over as the Chief of Air Staff from Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Thursday. Chaudhari, who has served in various important capacities at both field formations and air headquarters, would be taking over the force at a time when the country is still in a standoff position at the borders with China and tensions in the region are high due to the situation in Afghanistan.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Chaudhari has commanded a frontline fighter squadron and a fighter base during his career. He has also held various other positions including the Deputy Commandant, Air Force Academy; Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).