31Oct : With the government approving early this month the creation of 503 new posts of Group Captains and above, the Air Force commanders conference that began deliberations in New Delhi on Thursday is likely to debate the implementation of the Cabinet decision over a five-year period.
The new senior-level posts would comprise of six Air Marshals, 21 Air Vice Marshals and 61 Air Commodores and 415 Group Captains.
With the role of special forces in all spectrum of modern warfare increasingly becoming important, the Air Force commanders from the five operational and one each of maintenance and training commands would draw out plans for expansion of the ‘Garuds’ who form the backbone of any IAF warfare plans these days.
With the Garuds forming part of the IAF contingent to the US for NATO air war games Red Flag, there would be a special session on extracting the lessons learnt from the contingent’s US experience and Exercise Desert Eagle in the UAE, which they participated on their way back home from the US.
Addressing the commanders, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said with growth in its capabilities imminent through induction of new assets, the Air Force’s future operational plans would be more effective.
"In view of the enhanced capabilities being acquired through the induction of new assets, IAFs operational plans would now become much more effective," Major said.
The IAF chief emphasised the need to develop state-of-the-art maintenance practices and facilities in the IAF.
He laid stress on the fact that men behind the machine in IAF were the biggest force-multipliers and should be treated with utmost concern and empathy.
Apart from these issues, the IAF commanders will talk about flight safety, maintenance, administrative and logistical issues, which impinge on the operational effectiveness of Air Force are also taken up for discussions.