Retention in forces a major challenge: Air Chief

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Bangalore, Oct 31 (UNI) Booming Indian economy and burgeoning civil aviation sector is posing several challenges, mainly retention of ranked officers in the defence forces, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F H Major said today.

Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the 47th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine here, the Air Chief said the booming civil aviation sector, which had opened up several opportunities, was acting as a hurdle for the Air Force to retain its pilots and engineers.

He said the problem of retention of officers in the armed forces, especially in the ground forces was largely felt. ''The problem was not that bad in the Air Force,'' he claimed.

There was an urgent need to address this situation, ''There is a need tightening the screws as for as retention issue was concerned,'' he said.

Referring to Aerospace Medicine, he said the rapid growth in the aviation sector, both in military and civil areas, had necessitated commensurate growth in the domain of Aerospace Medicine.

IAF has expressed its keenness to associate itself with Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO)'s futuristic plan of the Man-machine flight project. ''IAF's association with this project will help conduct thorough studies on the human body during flight into space, evolve and adapt to meet the future demands of air warriors,'' he said.

The Chief of Air Staff said the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine had achieved its best in disseminating the latest medical practices and techniques. In an attempt to take it to civilian sector, IAF had decided to open its Medical Evaluation Centre at the Air India complex in Mumbai. More such centres would be established in other centers also, he said.

UNI

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