Be prepared for operations at any time: IAF chief’s letter to officers

Vastavam web: A letter written by Chief of Indian Airforce to his staff has created sensation in India. The Indian Air Force chief has asked his officers to be prepared for operations at short notice and “with our present holdings”, sending out rare individual letters to 12,000-odd personnel of the country’s air defense wing. The letter by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa. The missive comes amid heightened tensions with Pakistan and occasional verbal exchanges with China, mainly over cross-border terrorism and spike in militancy in Kashmir.

“In the present scenario, there is an ever persistent sub-conventional threat. Therefore, we need to be prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice. Training needs to be focused towards this,” the IE quoted the air chief as saying. The report said the mention of “sub-conventional threat” in the letter was a reference to Pakistan’s proxy war, “which is reflected in the increasing number of terror attacks on military camps and the rising public unrest in Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Our present holdings” was a reference to a shortfall in the number of fighter squadrons with the IAF, the report added. The IAF’s squadron of fighter aircraft is down to 33 from the sanctioned strength of 42. A squadron usually consists of 16 to 18 aircrafts.