According to The Hindu, the chief of the Indian Air Force has asked its 12,000 officers to be prepared for operations at “very short notice.”

Indian Air Force officers said it was for the first time that an IAF chief had sent out personal letters to the entire officer fraternity of the force.

Indian Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa’s personal letter, signed on March 30, has given rise to speculation about the current security situation, and was seen against the worsening situation in Kashmir and along the India-Pakistan border.

‘Persistent threat’

While the letter covered several issues, it was his order to the Indian officers to be “prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice” that was the focus of attention.

“In the present scenario, there is an ever persistent sub-conventional threat,” the Indian Air Chief Marshal said, a clear reference to resistance in Indian Held Kashmir and other parts of the country. He told the officers that “training needs to be focused towards this.”

Asking the officers to be “combat-effective professionals,” the IAF chief said there was “no choice but to stay abreast of new technological advancements, both own as well as those of our adversaries. Only then will we come out with war-winning, out of the box solutions.”

Warning on harassment

The letter also touched upon issues of lack of professionalism and complaints about sexual harassment in Indian Air Force. “In the recent past, there have been instances where lack of professionalism has shown the IAF in a poor light,” he said. “We have been witness to a few instances of ‘favouritism’ in selection of officers for prime assignments and promotions,” Indian Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said. “This is something we can ill afford.”

The letter warned against “physical intimidation” and “behaviour amounting to sexual harassment.”