President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said that India is seen as an eminent power and is expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce, and environmental protection.
Kovind, who was here to award standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College, said: “I have just returned from a visit to Vietnam and Australia. I held bilateral discussions with their leaders on areas of mutual interest, including defence, international security, trade and culture. The deliberations made one thing amply clear that the world looks at India differently today. India is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce, and environmental protection.”
Kovind said India’s rise in the international order has many dimensions and it draws heavily from the capabilities and valour of its Armed Forces.
“Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we are determined to use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. Whenever an occasion demanded, our brave men and women in uniform have ensured that the nation has dealt with the security challenges forcefully and effectively. Our armed forces, exemplified by the air warriors who stand before us, reflect our firm resolve to defend our nation, ” the President said.
118 Helicopter Unit or “Challengers” was formed on November 22, 1971, in Chabua and was then equipped with Mi-8 aircraft. Whether flying the Mi-8 or the formidable Mi-17 helicopter today, the Unit has a remarkable operational record. The Unit has also contributed towards humanitarian assistance and relief operations during natural disasters.
The president said, “The Indian Air Force is a fine force known for its prowess and professionalism. With your constant readiness to protect our borders and air space, you leave every citizen feeling safe and secure.”
Air Defence College has achieved significant milestones in Air Defence training in the past 60 years. The college provides professional training not only to officers of Indian Air Force but also to sister services and officers from friendly countries. The flying element of the College played a vital role during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars. Since its establishment, the college has distinguished itself by adopting a futuristic approach towards training.