At a time when border tension with Pakistan and China is at all-time high in recent past, Air Marshal B. Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Western Air Command (WAC), visited Air Force Station Halwara on Wednesday.
Air Force Station Halwara is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the Indian Air Force and was actively involved in both 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan conflicts because of its strategic location. It is home to the 220 Squadron known as ‘Desert Tigers’ and 221 Squadron known as ‘Valiants’ flying the Sukhoi-30MKI.
One of the officers present during the interaction with the Air Marshal informed The Daily Guardian, on the condition of anonymity, “The AOC-in-C conveyed his appreciation for the excellent involvement and commitment to duty displayed by all personnel of the station and advised them to stay fit and be vigilant considering the current security situation. Basically, we have been indicated to be prepared for war.”
The officer further informed, “The Gagan Shakti exercise conducted by the IAF in April 2018 had proved that almost all IAF assets can swiftly move from east front to west front with just a short notice. We also know that if at all our country engages in a war scenario with China, it will automatically become a two front war scenario with Pakistan and China with both fronts opening simultaneously.”
The AOC-in-C held meeting with the Air Commodore A Bhadra, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Halwara. During this visit, the AOC-in-C inspected vital installations of the base and assessed operational preparedness, in addition to reviewing all measures taken towards the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic. The AOC-in-C reiterated that we are faced with developing security threats along with the pandemic threat and emphasised the importance of ensuring operational capability through diligent planning and utilisation of resources during these challenging times.