Resurgence of violence a concern for India: IAF chief

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, on Thursday said that resurgence of violence in the Asia-Pacific region was a matter of concern for India.

“The global security environment has witnessed a paradigm shift and the strategic centre of gravity now rests in the Asia-Pacific region. There has been a resurgence of violence in the region, which is of concern to India,” Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said while addressing the 83rd Air Force Day parade at Hindon air force base near Delhi.

The IAF chief, who is also chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, said upgradation of operational infrastructure was a key focus area and emphasis was being laid on the north and north-eastern parts of the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the Indian Air Force personnel on the occasion of Air Force Day, saying their contribution was monumental for the country.

“I salute our air force personnel on the Air Force Day. They have always served India with great courage and determination,” Modi said in a statement.

“Contribution of our air force is monumental. They are always at the forefront, be it in protecting skies or in times of disasters,” the statement added.

At the function, Raha presented the Vayu Sena medal (gallantry) to 13 air force personnel. Two gallantry awards were given posthumously.

The chief of air staff also presented 19 Vayu Sena medals and 32 Vishisht Seva medals.

The parade was marked by air drill by the IAF men, in which India’s front-line fighter jets participated.

The parade began with a display by skydivers of the Akash Ganga team of the IAF.

The new Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (Skat) comprising four Hawk aircraft made its maiden appearance at the show. SKAT was disbanded four years ago because of shortage of aircraft. The aerobatics display team used to fly ageing Kiran trainers and has now shifted to advanced Hawk jets.

In another debut, a Pilatus PC-7 trainer aircraft performed aerobatics.

The flypast included C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, with three of them flying in V formation.

It was followed by IAF’s latest induction – C-17 Globemasters – escorted by two Su-30 MKIs. Frontline Jaguar and MiG-21 Bison fighters were also a part of the flypast.

A vintage Tiger Moth aircraft and the Sarang helicopter display team of the IAF also participated.

The Air Force Day commemorates the establishment of the IAF on October 8, 1932.

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