IAF ready to send more relief to quake-hit China

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Hyderabad, May 21 (UNI) The Indian Air Force is ready to airlift more relief material, including medicines, to the earthquake-hit Sichuan province of China, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal F H Major said today.

''We have so far sent three aircraft, carrying relief material to the Sichuan capital of Chengdu and are ready to send more relief material to the quake-hit province,'' he told reporters here.

Three IAF aircraft had carried about 90 tonnes of relief material, including cutting machines, blankets and water purifiers, to Chengdu to rescue people trapped under debris in the worst earthquake since 1976.

The Chief of Air Staff, who was here to inaugurate 'Aman Sena', the United Nations-mandated peace support operations training programme for over 80 officers from 19 countries at the College of Defence Management, said over Rs 9,000 crore would be spent for acquiring modern equipment for the IAF this year as part of the ongoing modernisation programme.

To a question, he said ''we definitely want to deploy more women in UN-mandated peace keeping operations abroad.'' The number of women officers would be decided from time to time, depending on the situation, he added.

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