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IAF to focus on economic, energy security: Tyagi

Written by: Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 13: The Indian Air Force has a major responsibility in ensuring the economic and energy security of the country, IAF Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi said here today.

''India has grown economically and there is a shift from the geo-politics to geo-economics. As such ensuring economic and energy security will be the major responsibility of the IAF,'' he told reporters here.

Air Chief Marshal Tyagi is here to attend the Southern Air Commanders conference.

The borders have been thrown open to trade and the country's oil consumption has shot up over the years. The IAF was debating on the challenges of ensuring economic and energy security and looking into providing security for the assets beyond the borders,'' ACM Tyagi said, noting that the Southern Air Command had a major role to play in the matter as it was strategically located closer to energy and trade routes.

Noting the IAF supported the concept of an all-inclusive Space Commission to exploit the outer space, he said the Commission could provide a road map and strategies for aerospace.

On the Aerospace Command, he said that the concept had been agreed upon though the details were to be worked out. It was a complex process involving the three Services and civilian stake holders, he said.

To a question on converting the Southern Air Command into the Aerospace Command, he said if it was exclusively for the IAF, then Thiruvananthapuram would be the choice. If not, it should be discussed with others concern ''We are working on it and we have progressed substantially in the discussions,'' he said.

ACM Tyagi noted the year that passed was the safest as there were far less accidents compared to the previous years.

On the exodus of pilots from the IAF, he said there was no change in the policy of premature retirement.

''If the IAF wants them, then we will keep them. We allow them to go depending on our needs.

''If I have 120 aeroplanes and 100 pilots, I cannot let them go,'' he said when asked about a media report that some 200 IAF pilots wanted to quit but were being prevented from doing so.

''We have spent money on these pilots. It is the tax payers money and if their service is needed for civil aviation, then we will let them go depending on our needs,'' the Air Chief he said.

UNI

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