AIR Marshal B.S. Dhanoa sends a personal letter to all 12,000 officers of the force.
AIR Marshal B.S. Dhanoa sends a personal letter to all 12,000 officers of the force.

NEW DELHI: In a personal letter to all 12,000 officers of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa has reminded them to be “prepared for action at a very short notice”, The Hindu said on Sunday.

The IAF chief asked the officers to also shun “physical intimidation” and “behaviour amounting to sexual harassment”.

Unnamed officers told the paper that it was for the first time that an IAF chief had sent out personal letters to the entire officer fraternity of the force.

IAF chief stresses technological advancements for war-winning solutions

The personal letter, signed on March 30, has given rise to speculation about the current security situation, and, according to newspaper, was seen against the worsening situation in held Kashmir and along the India-Pakistan border.

Read: Hard choices for India, Pakistan

While the letter covered several issues, it was the air chief’s exhortation to the officers to be “prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice” that was the focus of attention.

‘Sub-conventional threat’

“In the present scenario, there is an ever persistent sub-conventional threat,” the air chief said, a reference to Pakistan’s alleged involvement with militants in held Kashmir and other parts of the country. He told the officers that “training needs to be focused towards this”.

Lack of professionalism

Asking the officers to be “combat-effective professionals,” ACM Dhanoa 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”.

Curiously, the letter also touched upon issues of apparent lack of professionalism and alleged complaints about sexual harassment.

“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…This is something we can ill-afford,” The Hindu quoted the letters as saying.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2017