Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In farewell Presser IAF Chief Calls Pathankot Setback, Inability To Locate Missing An-32 'Low-Point' In Tenure As Chief

Pathankot was the first setback, we have learnt lessons and are better prepared now.

We've done reasonably well in looking after the sub conventional threat like terrorism and other conventional threat.

Our main focus was on capability building and operational preparedness. We've been able to sign various cases in first two and a half years including Rafale which will be in India, operational in next three years to five and a half years.

In AW101 case where investigation agencies have found evidence, I believe, as a result our former Air Chief was put into custody.Till charges are proved we must give him his due. Former Air Force Chief is like an extended family member and we should stand by them.However, if the charges are proved then we have no sympathies for them.

Low point of my tenure, missing An-32. We flew over 300 sorties and we still can't find it. Taking care of families.AN 32 not the best aircraft to fly to Andaman. It gets affected by weather.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vijay Diwas

The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S.B. Deo paying homage to the martyrs at Shaheed Smarak, on the occasion of the Vijay Diwas, in Noida on December 27, 2016.

Army Chief's Farewell Visits : Army Training Command, Shimla

General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff visited Headquarters Army Training Command at Shimla today on a farewell visit prior to relinquishing office in the end of the year.

During the visit, he addressed all Officers of the station, highlighting the existing and emerging security and management challenges. He also gave an insight into the numerous steps being taken by the Army in all spheres, for its continued development and growth. While interacting with the troops, he urged them to dedicate themselves to the nation and maintain the highest tradition of the Indian Army.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Lt Gen Vinod Vashisht Takes Over As DG NCC

Lt Gen Vinod Vashisht took over the reins of National Cadet Corps (NCC) as its Director General on 23 December 2016.

An alumnus of National Defence Academy, the General was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 09 June 1979. A graduate from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the General has attended the Higher Command Course, National Defence College, IAS Professional Course and Emergency Management Course at Melbourne, Australia.

He has held various staff and command appointments and has been awarded with COAS & GOC-in-C Central Command Commendation, VSM & Bar for distinguished service in command and staff assignments. He held the appointment of Additional Director General in Military Training and Additional Military Secretary (A) at the IHQ of MoD (Army). He was the Commandant, Officers Training Academy, Gaya prior to the current assignment. He succeeds Lt Gen A Chakravarty, who retired on 31 August 2016.

Fourth Test Of Strategic Nuclear-Capable Agni-V, Successful

Agni-5 India's intercontinental, nuclear-capable missile, test fired off Odisha coast this morning, from Kalam Island. This is the most advanced  and the longest range indigenous Indian missile developed by DRDO. Its range is 5000-5500 kilometres, but China has alleged that India is keeping its range classified, which is actually 8000 kilometres. This range makes it easy for India to target China, Pakistan and some portions of Europe.

This is the fourth test before it is delivered to the user which is the Strategic Forces Command. Earlier tests conducted were , first test was on 19 April, 2012, second test on 15 September, 2013 and third test was on 31st January, 2013.

Earlier tests had minor rectifications to be done, like issues in the battery etc, which have been rectified in this test.

More than a ton of warhead can be carried in this 17-meter long missile which weighs around 50 tonnes. It is a surface-to-surface missile which follows the ballistic trajectory. This is the first strategic test conducted by India after it's entry in the Missile Technology Control Regime, earlier this year. MTCR is a 35-nation group to check the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Today's solid propellant driven missile test was from a canister. Agni-5 is an all-terrain and all-weather missile.

Range of Agni-I is 700-km range, Agni-2 has a 2,000 km range, and Agni-3 and Agni-4 have a 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.

There are talks of the Agni-6 missile but it is in early stages of development and is said to be capable of being launched from submarines as well as from land, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.

MoD Statement :

Successful Test Flight of Agni-5

Agni-5, the Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile was successfully flight tested by DRDO today at 1100hrs from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The full range test-flight of the missile has further boosted the indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence level of the country. All the Radars, tracking systems and Range Stations tracked and monitored the flight performance and all the Mission objectives were successfully met. This was the 4th test of Agni-5 missile and the second one from a Canister on a Road Mobile Launcher. All the four missions have been successful.

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee congratulated DRDO for the successful test flight of Agni-V which will enhance the country’s strategic and deterrence capabilities.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi congratulated DRDO on successful test firing of Agni-V saying that it is the result of hard work of DRDO and its scientists which makes every Indian proud and adds tremendous strength to our strategic defence. Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar also congratulated DRDO for the successful test firing of Agni-V for further strengthening India’s defence capabilities

Agni-V Successfully Tested

Indian Navy Declares 2017 As Submarine Year

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Army Chief In Assam On Farewell Visit

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh interacting with the troops during his visit to Assam on December 24, 2016.

DRDO Successfully Flight Tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon

The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) yesterday successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft. SAAW, an indigenously designed and developed 120 kg. class smart weapon, developed by DRDO, is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms. The light weight high precision guided bomb is one of the world class weapons systems.

The captive and release trials were tracked by Radar and Telemetry ground stations at ITR during the entire duration of the flight. The performance of all systems were satisfactory with all the mission objectives achieved.

Secretary, Department of Defence (R&D) & Chairman, DRDO, Dr S. Christopher, congratulated DRDO and the IAF teams for the successful mission.

Scientific Advisor to RM and DG (Missile and Strategic Systems), DRDO, Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, lauded the scientific community of the DRDO for their efforts towards the design and development of this state-of-the-art smart weapon within the set time frame.

Senior Maintenance Staff Officers’ Conclave Held at Air Force Station Hindan

Senior Maintenance Staff Officers’ Conclave was held at Air Force Station Hindan under the aegis of Western Air Command, Subroto Park, New Delhi on 23-24 Dec 2016.

The Conclave was inaugurated by Air Mshl NJS Dhillon AVSM, Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command and was chaired by Air Mshl PP Khandekar, Air Officer-in-charge Maintenance Commandof Indian Air Force. Senior Maintenance Staff Officers of all Operational Commands, Training Command & Maintenance Command of IAF attended the Conclave. The Conclave took stock of the current maintenance support related challenges with focus on optimal operations, enhanced quality of the preventive maintenance, indigenisation and innovation efforts. Theneed to continuously improve the skill/ knowledge level of Maintenance personnel along with improvement in Supply Chain Management were also deliberated. In the closing address the AOM exhorted all maintenance personnel to be proactive, innovative and self reliant in meeting the challenges towards excellent support for all operational tasks of Indian Air Force.

Friday, December 23, 2016

In A First, All Women Coast Guard Officer Aircrew Undertake Maritime Patrolling Near International Maritime Boundary Line

Deputy Commandant Priyanka Tyagi joined ICG Air Station Chennai in February 2014 has 1500 hours of flying experience.

Deputy Commandant Akshi joined ICG Air Station Chennai in June 2014 and has 1700 hours of flying experience.
Deputy Commandant Sunita Venugopal joined this premier squadron in August 2011 and has 1200 hours of experience. Sunita has been a role model for several women in terms of achievement and contributions in the field of maritime flying.

In a first of its kind on Eastern Coast of India, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Eastern Region deployed an all-women officers crew in a fixed wing aircraft Dornier for undertaking maritime patrolling and to check illegal activities at sea, especially near the International maritime boundary line.

Deputy Commandants Akshi and Sunita Venugopal (Pilots) and Priyanka Tyagi (Observer) from 744 Squadron ICG Air Station Chennai successfully completed maritime reconnaissance Dornier sorties over high seas. All lady officers have been continuously trained for real time operations which include pollution response, maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue, anti-piracy and anti-poaching missions.

Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei Arrives At Cape Town

The Indian Navy’s ocean-going sail boat Mhadei with an all-women crew, entered Cape Town Harbour today after a grueling voyage which started from Goa in early November 2016. The boat shall be participating in the “Cape to Rio 2017” race held by the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC), Cape Town.

The six lady officers’ onboard Mhadei skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi have been handpicked by the Indian Navy and groomed for this challenge. They are being trained in the various aspects of Ocean Sailing at the newly set up Ocean Sailing Node at Goa headed by Capt Atool Sinha, an Asian Games Silver medalist who will also skipper the boat from Cape Town to Rio at the Cape to Rio Race 2017.

Having steadily increased their sea legs this year, these women have completed a 2000 nautical miles voyage from Visakhapatnam to Goa in India in February 16 before doing their first ocean crossing of 4000 nm from Goa to Mauritius and back in July 16. The current voyage from Goa to Cape Town conducted for 45 days and 5000 nm through heavy weather have been their longest leg as yet and an important milestone in their circumnavigation aspirations.

The crew comprising Lieutenants Swathi, Aishwarya, Pratibha, Vijaya and Payal respectively, in addition to the Skipper Vartika are from diverse backgrounds and they are Naval Architects, Air Traffic Controllers and Education Officers by profession. The passion of Ocean Sailing unites them all. Their grit, determination and courage is an inspiration to all Indians and is a testimony to the women empowerment in modern India. This crew is set to attempt the first Indian all women circumnavigation of the globe in 2017.

Mhadei, a Bermudian Sloop, has been the crucible of India Navy’s ocean sailing aspirations including circumnavigation. Circumnavigation is a unique feat in Ocean Sailing wherein a boat sails atleast 21,600 nautical miles crossing the equator, every meridian and finishes in the same port as it starts. Onboard Madhei, in 2010, Commander Dilip Donde became the first Indian to solo circumnavigate the globe. Three years later, in 2013, another naval Officer Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy improved this feat to become the first Indian to do non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe – again onboard Mhadei. Now, India Navy aspires to attempt the circumnavigation of the globe with the first Indian all women crew in 2017.

The boat, custom built in Goa, derives her name from a deity revered by sea farers. Since her commissioning in 2009, Mhadei has logged over 105,000 nautical miles of Ocean Sailing, most of which has been through the remotest parts of the planet. She has crossed the Equator Thirteen times, Prime Meridian Six times and the International Date Line twice.

From Cape Town, the boat leaves for Cape to Rio Race on 1st of January.

Non Functional Upgrade Granted By Armed Forces Tribunal To All Defence Officers

AFT New Delhi has allowed the Petition for  Grant of NFU to Defence Services Officers, filed  by over  160 Officers. The judgement applicable to all Officers of Defence Services , wef 01 Jan 2006.

AFT has directed the Govt to grant NFU to officers of defence services, within three months from the date  of Judgement.

Court has directed that Post.7th CPC, NFU  to offers of Defence Services will be granted, in case given to officers of  Civil Services.

Court dismissed the submission by MoD that Defence Services are not entitled to and don't deserve to get  NFU.

Senior Advocate Jyoti Singh fought the case for the defence officers.
Defence officers to wait and watch if this AFT judgement is contested in Supreme Court.

Convocation Ceremony of Army College of Dental Sciences in Secunderabad

The Honourable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presided over the Convocation Ceremony of Army College of Dental Sciences in Secunderabad today. Degrees were conferred upon 38 graduating students and 9 post graduates from 6 specialities of Dental Surgery. The President presented the ‘Best Outgoing Student in Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)’ award to Ms. Kumari Archana Chauhan and the ‘Best Outgoing Student in Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)’ award to Dr. Sagar Dahiya. In addition, he also presented awards to the students who secured first, second and third place in Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

Governor of Telangana, Shri E.S.L Narasimhan, Deputy Chief minister of Telangana, Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali; Lieutenant General Rakesh Sharma Adjutant General, ADC; Lieutenant General R K Anand, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Dakshin Bharath Area; Major General Sharabh Pachory, GOC, Telangana and Andhra Sub Area;  Dr. B. Karunakar Reddy, Vice chancellor of Kaloji Narayana Rao Health University; Dr. Dibyendu Mazumder, President of Dental Council of India; Dr. K.V. Ramana Reddy, Principal of Army College of Dental Sciences and a host of civil and military dignitaries graced the occasion.

In his Ceremonial Address, the President congratulated the graduating students and reminded them that their foremost duty in their new role as Doctors, i.e., to live up to the good faith and trust reposed in them. He urged them to use their knowledge and technical expertise for the welfare of the common man. On this occasion, he also called upon the young doctors of the nation to build in their minds a strong sense of patriotism and social responsibility. The President also added that health is an important indicator of country’s progress. Only a healthy population possess a greater capacity to access education, knowledge and employment opportunities, he said.

The ceremony was conducted with military dignity and élan. Parents of graduating students were present in large numbers and revelled in the achievement of their wards.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Army Chief's farewell Visit To Southern Command

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh interacting with the troops, during his farewell visit to HQ Southern Command, Pune on December 22, 2016.

General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) made his farewell visit to HQ Southern Command, Pune today. During the visit he addressed all officers of Pune Station in which he complimented all the ranks for the excellent job being done by them. During his address, he spoke on a wide range of issues and highlighted progress made on them during his tenure. He stressed the need to continue to build capability as no enemy respects weakness and also be operationally prepared to meet any kind of security challenge. He informed the officers regarding various welfare measures taken for all ranks and veterans. He exhorted them to maintain high level of alertness and take all security measures to thwart any nefarious activity by inimical or anti- national elements. He also interacted with troops over a cup of tea at Milkha Singh Sports Complex. The COAS returned to Delhi after interacting with Veterans.

Amphibious Exercise 'Jal Prahar' Commences

With the aim of fostering joint training and validating Standard Operating Procedures for Amphibious Operations, the Eastern Naval Command commenced an amphibious exercise 'Jal Prahar' off Kakinada coast on 21 December 2016. Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet along with Brigade Commanders of 108 Mountain Bde and 91 Infantry Brigade are overseeing the exercise.

The three day exercise include participation of IN ships Jalashwa (LPD) and Gharial (LST) from ENC and INS Cheetah (LST) from the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC). Ships of Eastern Fleet are operating in close vicinity of the amphibious ships in support of the operation. Army component include participation of one company of troops each from Southern Army Command and ANC. In addition to ground troops, mechanised vehicles and troop carriers are also participating in the exercise. Aircraft from Naval Air Stations Dega and Rajali are also participating in the exercise by providing air cover during the operation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

33rd Corps Day Of Indian Army's Judge Advocate General Department Celebrated

The Adjutant General, Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma paying homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti, on the occasion of the 33rd Corps Day of Judge Advocate General Department, in New Delhi on December 21, 2016.

National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-VI)

Indian’s energy requirements (approx 70%) are met by oil resource that is being imported into our country by ships. The transportation of oil through sea route is fraught with inherent risks and requires preventive measures to be taken both by the ship owners and the oil receiving facilities inside port.

The Indian Coast Guard is the Central Coordinating Authority for oil spill response and has put into place a robust pollution response system to check the preparedness levels of oil handling agencies at regular intervals. The Gulf of Kachchh houses ecologically sensitive mangroves and coral reefs, which are fraught with danger in case of an oil spill. To address issues relating to an oil
spill, the sixth edition of National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-VI) was conducted by the Indian Coast Guard on 20-21 Dec 16, off Mundra in Gulf of Kachchh. Representatives of various Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments, Ports, Oil Handling Agencies and other stake holders participated in the exercise. In addition, representatives of
Oil Industry Safety Directorate and Observers from three foreign nations also witnessed the NATPOLREX-VI exercise. 125 personnel from various agencies/stakeholders participated in the exercise.

Nine Coast Guard ships, two CG helicopters, two Dornier aircraft, one Indian Naval Ship, one Air Force Aircraft (C-130J Super Herculeus), three tugs from KPT/Mundra Port, one tanker of Shipping Corporation of India, 02 MSV/OSV from other resource agencies and teams for beach cleaning from State Government also participated in the exercise.

The highlight of the exercise was participation of ICG Pollution Control Vessels (PCV) and integration of Air Force into the Oil Spill Disaster Management System for aerial assessment/delivery of oil spill dispersant (OSD) for mitigation of the spilled oil. The NATPOLREX-VI was precluded by a Table Top exercise on 20th Dec 16 for simulation of the situation.

The Indian Coast Guard assumed responsibility of protecting marine environment in her maritime zones on 01 Mar 1986, when these responsibilities were transferred from Ministry of Shipping. Subsequently, the Coast Guard prepared the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) for combating oil spill disaster at sea, which was approved by the committee of secretaries in the 1993. The Indian Coast Guard has also established three Pollution Response Centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair and has the capability to respond to oil spills up to 10,000 tones with assistance of various agencies.

Shri Vijaybhai R Rupani, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat reviewed the preparedness of all agencies during the exercise on 21 Dec 16 from onboard Coast Guard Ship Sarathi along with Director General Rajendra Singh, PTM, TM, the Director General Indian Coast Guard.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Farewell Visits Of Army Chief

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh interacting with the troops of Central Command, during his farewell visit to HQ Central Command, in Lucknow on December 20, 2016.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Defence Secretary Inaugurates Workshop On Tunnelling In North & North Eastern Region

A one day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Defence on tunnelling in North & North Eastern Region on 17 December 2016 at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi.

In his opening address, Defence Secretary Shri G Mohan Kumar highlighted that infrastructure Development in North and North-Eastern part of the country has always been a matter of challenge due to adverse climatic conditions, fragile and young geology and remote location. Growing awareness on forest, environmental and ecological issues to minimise instability of hill slopes and avoid phenomena of flash floods and cloud burst has also been a matter of serious concern which need urgent attention. Underground structures like tunnel could help a great deal to minimise the disturbances to natural settings and provide straight alignment and thus reduce length of roads.

Highlighting the need for all weather connectivity to the Ladakh region the Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat and GoC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen D Anbu brought out that this region which has high significance from strategic considerations remains cut off with rest of the country for almost six months of the year due to intensive snow fall, avalanche and icing at passes viz Zozila on Srinagar – Kargil – Leh road and Rohtang, Baralacha La, Lachung La and Tanglang La on Manali – Sarchu – Upshi – Leh Road. It therefore needs a special focus and network of tunnel to have all weather connectivity.

As many as eight expert speakers presented their papers during the workshop and highlighted various issues involved in planning, design and construction of tunnels in Himalaya Region and High Altitude areas. The proceeding of the Workshop were summed up by Executive Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Shri Sahadev Singh.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Defence with an aim to generate adequate awareness on the subject, understand various issues related to planning, design and construction of tunnels and orient executives to include tunnel proposals in road design for all weather connectivity and minimise disturbances to natural settings.

The workshop was attended by a large number of delegates including DGBR Lt Gen Suresh Sharma with 50 officers of BRO from different parts of the country. Officers of E-in-C Branch, Indian Army and delegates from various organizations viz DMRC, Konkan Railway, NPCC, HCC, IL&FS, L&T, D2 Consult, AFCON, STRABAG etc. also attended the workshop.

Students Visit Naval Warships In Chennai

Six major warships of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral B Dasgupta visited Chennai between 17 December 2016  to 19 December 2016 as part of Navy Week celebrations. To promote greater understanding about the role of the Indian Navy in safeguarding the coastline of our country, the visiting warships were open to the NCC cadets and students of schools and colleges in and around Chennai from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM on 19 December 2016. Approximately 2000 students and NCC cadets visited Naval warships and interacted with personnel onboard.

Pics: Sat Basani Kumar

Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Begins Farewell Visits With South Western Command, Jaipur

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh interacting with the All Ranks of Sapta Shakti Command, during his visit to South Western Command, at Jaipur on December 19, 2016.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pampore Martyrs Given Befitting Farewell By Army

Srinagar, 18 Dec 2016, Army today paid befitting tributes to three of its comrades who had attained martyrdom in a dastardly terrorist action on an Army convoy in Pampore yesterday. In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Srinagar, many senior officials from the civil administration including the Divisional Commissioner Mr Baseer Ahmed Khan  and other security agencies including JKP, CRPF, BSF and SSB  joined Lt Gen JS Sandhu, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks in paying  homage to the martyrs  on behalf of a proud nation.

Martyr Naik(Gnr) Ratheesh C, 35 years of age had joined army in 2001 and hailed from Kotolipram, Kannur distt in Kerala and is survived by his wife and a son.

Coming from the state of Maharashtra, the 33 years old Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Village Bhekrai Nagar, Pune had donned the uniform in 2004 and is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

Only 24, Gunner Shashikant Pandey had four years of service and was in fact on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Survived by his parents, he hailed from Zharian, Dhanbad distt in Jharkhand.
The mortal remains of the martyrs will be flown for last rites to their native places where they will be laid to rest with full military honours. In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their  needs and wellbeing.

Govt Announces Top Defence Appointments, Rawat To Become Army Chief, Dhanoa Is Next IAF Chief

Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat, presently Vice Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army was announced yesterday by the Govt to take over as the next Chief of Army Staff, from 1st Jan 2017 after General Dalbir Singh steps down on December 31. As a departure from the usual custom of choosing the Chief based on seniority, the government, with the appointment of Rawat as the next army chief, did away with the 30-year-old tradition.


Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa AVSM YSM VM took over as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) on 01 June 2015. He was commissioned in the IAF in June 1978 as a fighter pilot. He is an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

Air Marshal Dhanoa is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has flown various types of fighter aircraft in his distinguished career. During the Kargil Operations, he commanded a fighter squadron and himself flew numerous night strike missions in the mountainous terrain.

He has the distinction of having held a number of the important operational appointments including Station Commander of a fighter base and leader of an Indian Military Training Team abroad He has also served as Chief Instructor (Air) at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters and Senior Air Staff Officer of two operational Commands. Prior to being appointed as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, the Air Marshal was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the South Western Air Command.

In recognition for his meritorious services, he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal (YSM), Vayusena Medal (VM) in 1999, and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2015 by the President of India.
He is married to Mrs. Kamalpreet and they have a son Jasman who is pursuing law.

Air Marshal Dhanoa has taken over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff from Air Marshal Ravi Kant Sharma PVSM AVSM VM ADC, who relinquished the office on 31 May 2015 after 40 years of glorious service in the IAF.

Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba On Japan Visit

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC is on an official visit to Japan commencing 19 December 2016. The visit aims to consolidate existing Maritime Cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues.

The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilisational ties. India’s earliest documented direct contact with Japan was with the Todaiji Temple in Nara, where the consecration or eye-opening of the towering statue of Lord Buddha was performed by an Indian monk, Bodhisena, in 752 AD. In contemporary times, among prominent Indians associated with Japan were Swami Vivekananda, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, JRD Tata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Judge Radha Binod Pal. The Japan-India Association was set up in 1903, and is today the oldest international friendship body in Japan.

Defence cooperation between India and Japan is robust and is primarily focused towards Maritime Cooperation. Our defence cooperation was institutionalised with commencement of the India-Japan Comprehensive Security Dialogue which was initiated in 2001.

Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) has participated in the MALABAR exercise in 2007, 2009, 2014 prior being included as a regular member in the exercise since 2015. JMSDF participated in MALABAR 15 and 16 held in the Bay of Bengal and Western Pacific respectively.
In 2014, Japan has also been included as an observer in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a Maritime Cooperation construct conceptualised and pioneered by Indian Navy in 2008.

Both navies also engage in Navy to Navy Staff Talks which commenced in 2008. The 7th Navy to Navy Staff Talks are scheduled to be held in 2017. JDS Matsuyuki participated in the International Fleet Review 2016 held at Visakhapatnam. The Chief of Staff of the JMSDF, Admiral Tomihisa Takei also attended the Review. Indian Navy too participated in the International Fleet Review conducted by the JMSDF in Oct 15 at Sagami Bay, Yokosuka, Japan.

JMSDF for the first time participated in the Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta conducted by the Indian Navy in 2016 at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala from 05 to 11 Dec 16. Warships of both countries regularly visit each other’s ports.

India and Japan share similar maritime challenges such as long coastline, extensive EEZ, coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, wherein both navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. In addition common ground exists for cooperation on a number of issues common to both navies.

During the visit, Admiral Sunil Lanba is scheduled to hold discussions with Chief of Staff, JMSDF, Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff besides other Senior Dignitaries and Naval Officers.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

110 Flight Cadets Commissioned Into Indian Air Force

The amber sky dawned sagely over Air Force Academy (AFA) to witness the grand Combined Graduation Parade, which marked the momentous occasion of the passing out of 110 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force, here today.  This solemn event was graced by Air Marshal KVB Jayampathy, Commander, Sri Lanka Air Force. As the Reviewing Officer of the parade, he conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ to the graduating Flight Cadets who successfully completed their basic and professional training.  These young officers, which include 14 women officers, join the elite cadre of Air Force Officers, to carry forward the espoused legacy and the core values of Indian Air Force namely ‘Mission, Integrity, Excellence’.

Air Marshal KVB Jayampathy, the Reviewing Officer gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in training.  Flying Officer Ankit Agarwal from the Flying branch was awarded the President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing First in Overall Merit in the Pilots’ Course.  Flying Officer Chayan Agarwal and Flying Officer A Varadharajan were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.

While addressing the Parade, the Reviewing Officer complimented the newly Commissioned ‘Flying Officers’ for the exceptional standard of parade.  Congratulating the passing-out cadets, the Sri Lankan Air Chief said “It is a matter of great honour to review the Combined Graduation Parade of flight cadets and witness these fine men and women joining the Indian Air Force as future Military leaders and Aviators”. He cautioned that at times one may have to take hard decisions which may not be popular or it may even a hurt few, but we should be guided by the larger interest of the Force and the Nation. He advised the young officers to balance the sense of idealism with realistic ground situation.

Earlier, the Reviewing Officer was received at the venue by Air Marshal SRK Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Training Command and Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, Commandant, Air Force Academy.   

The Combined Graduation Parade marks the culmination of rigorous training schedule of one year and heralds the entry of another generation of officers in the Indian Air Force.  The Flight Cadets undergo professional and advanced training at various  institutions besides Air Force Academy, viz., Air Force Stations Hakimpet, Begumpet, Yelahanka, and Air Force Administrative College (Coimbatore) as per their specialisation and finally pass-out together from the portals of the majestic “Sekhon” Block of Air Force Academy. The Parade, in its full grandeur marked with impeccably turned-out cadets and their perfectly synchronised drill movements demonstrating conviction and commitment, was witnessed by a large gathering of military and civil dignitaries along with the family members and friends of the graduating Flight Cadets. The spectators were left spellbound throughout the impressive parade.   The astounding display by the Indian Air Force Sky Diving team ‘Akash Ganga’ dotting the skyline with colourful parachutes, the fiery aerobatic displays by the PC-7 MK II (the aircraft currently used in Air Force Academy to train greenhorn pilots) and breathtaking aerobatics by the Suryakiran Formation aerobatic team, Hawk formation team, Sarang Helicopter team and the Su-30 MK-I aircraft enthralled the audience.

The Air Force Academy, Dundigal is the premier training establishment which transforms the raw recruits, known as flight cadets during their training at AFA, into elite cadre of officers for Indian Air Force.  The Air Force Academy as the ‘Cradle of Inspired Leadership’, imparts specialist training to the new entrants who are selected after a rigorous selection process at the Services Selection Boards (SSBs) to enable them to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills in various aspects of aerospace power and its application in each of their respective streams – that is Flying, Navigation, Engineering and other Ground duty branches.  An intensive training regimen is followed at Air Force Academy to instil qualities of military leadership and the core values of the Indian Air Force. Truly exemplifying the Academy motto,  ‘Shram Se Siddhi’ meaning ‘Achievement through Diligence’, the young men and women, transform into worthy Air Warriors of the highest professional, intellectual, physical and moral calibre dedicated to a lifetime of service to protect the sovereignty and  integrity of the Nation.