New Air Force Sta­tion at Than­javur ded­i­cated to na­tion

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

On May 27, De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony ded­i­cated the new Air Force Sta­tion at Than­javur to the na­tion. Speak­ing to re­porters, Antony said the op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion of the Air Force Sta­tion Than­javur would strengthen the air de­fence ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the In­dian Air Force (IAF) in gen­eral and the South­ern Com­mand, in par­tic­u­lar. He said var­i­ous sen­si­tive, strate­gic, in­dus­trial, aero­space and eco­nomic as­sets are com­ing up in the South­ern Penin­sula and the sta­tion will play a vi­tal role in pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion to those as­sets.

The event was at­tended among oth­ers by the COSC and the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Mar­shal N.A.K. Browne and the AOC-in-C South­ern Air Com­mand Air Mar­shal R.K. Jolly. Antony said the sta­tion will also help pro­tect our is­land ter­ri­to­ries and sea lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion (IOR). He said even though we are a peace-loving na­tion, we have to pro­tect our national in­ter­ests from threats such as piracy and ter­ror­ism. He said the IOR is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing more and more ac­tive. “In the emerg­ing se­cu­rity sce­nario, the pres­ence of fighter planes in Than­javur will not only guard our in­ter­ests but also give a feel­ing of safety to our neigh­bours.”

Than­javur air­base is poised to be­come a pre­mier air­base in South­ern Air Com­mand. The sta­tus of the air­base as the pride of South­ern Air Com­mand be­fits the city of Than­javur, which was a jewel in the crown of the Chola and Pandya king­doms. The air­base was first con­structed in 1940 by the Royal Air Force.

The air­base has been used ex­ten­sively for re­lief op­er­a­tions when­ever the south­ern penin­sula was af­fected by nat­u­ral calami­ties. Dur­ing heavy floods in Tamil Nadu in Novem­ber 2008, the IAF helicopters op­er­at­ing from Than­javur dropped 15,000 kg of re­lief ma­te­rial in Pa­panasam, Mu­lan­guri and Pan­dalenur ar­eas. Ear­lier, on his ar­rival at the Than­javur Sta­tion, Antony was pre­sented a guard of hon­our. He un­veiled a plaque mark­ing the ded­i­ca­tion of the sta­tion to the na­tion. Two SU-30MKI air­craft took off from the sta­tion.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Air Chief Mar­shal Browne said, “In the years ahead, the strate­gic im­por­tance of the Than­javur Air Sta­tion will grow in stature”. He thanked the De­fence Min­is­ter for set­tling is­sues re­lat­ing to the re­lo­ca­tion of some vil­lagers for the ex­pan­sion of the sta­tion. Antony thanked suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments of Tamil Nadu for their help and sup­port to the ac­tiv­i­ties of IAF and the Min­istry of De­fence.

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony un­veil­ing the plaque to ded­i­cate the Air Force Sta­tion Than­javur to the na­tion. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Mar­shal N.A.K. Browne and AOC-in-C South­ern Air Com­mand Air Mar­shal R.K. Jolly are also seen

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