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Defence installations need to be alert: IAF Chief

New Delhi, Oct 8 : On the occasion of 87th Indian Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Tuesday referred Balakot strike as a major shift in the way the Indian government is handling terrorist attacks with a caution that Pulwama attack is a stark reminder that the defence installations need to be alert at all times .

“Present security environment in the neighbourhood is a serious cause of concern. The Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations,” the IAF chief added.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said, “The Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.”

Forty soldiers of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a suicide bomb attack on their convoy on Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama in February. India responded with an airstrike.

He said the decision to bomb a terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan, marked a major shift in the government’s policy on national security.

“Strategic relevance of this (Balakot airstrike) is the resolve of political leadership to punish perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling terrorist attacks,” he said at Hindon Air Force Station near Delhi.

The IAF’s MIrage 2000 bombed a camp of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot in February

During Air Force Day celebrations, the air display started with flag-bearing sky divers of the Akash Ganga team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. For the first time, Chinook heavy-lift twin-rotor transport helicopter and the Apache attack helicopters which were purchased from US were on display.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is in France to take delivery of the first of the 36 Rafale fighter jets that India is buying in a Rs. 59,000 crore deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his wishes in a tweet this morning: “Today, on Air Force Day, a proud nation expresses gratitude to our air warriors and their families. The Indian Air Force continues to serve India with utmost dedication and excellence.”

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