President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said India is firmly committed to peace and will use its might to protect the nation’s sovereignty when there is a need.
Addressing a gathering after presenting the Presidential Colours to Air Force Station, Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot at Sulur Air Force Station, Kovind said: “India’s growing stature in the comity of nations is consistent with the strength and capabilities of our armed forces.
“India remains firmly committed to peace, but in case the need arises, we will use all our might to protect the nation’s sovereignty. I am confident that our valiant men and women in uniform will rise to the occasion.”
The President said the country’s armed forces, exemplified by the air warriors, “reflect our firm resolve to defend our nation”.
“This valour and professionalism was on display very recently as the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out pre-emptive strikes on a known terrorist camp.”
According to Kovind, the IAF has over the years grown into a modern, technology-intensive force distinguished by its commitment to excellence and professionalism.
“Keeping pace with the demands of contemporary advancements, the IAF continues to modernize in a rapid manner and is in the process of a very comprehensive modernization plan.
“Keeping our aircrafts air worthy is a crucial task. In this regard, 5 Base Repair Depot has been repairing and overhauling the Kiran, Avro and Dornier aircraft, many of which are maintained airworthy even after 30 years.
“5 Base Repair Depot has truly epitomized its motto ‘Kaya Kalpaa’ with continuous rejuvenation through infusion of new ideas, innovations and technological developments. The Base Repair Depot’s efforts to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment for achieving substantive self-reliance under the ‘Make in India’ initiative are praiseworthy,” the President said.
He said the Air Force Station, Hakimpet, during the wars of 1965 and 1971, the flying instructors and technical personnel of the station joined operational units and served with remarkable courage and professionalism.
The station commenced flying training for women pilots in the helicopter stream in 1995 and the fighter stream in 2016. The station personnel had also been involved in various humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, according to the President.