India determined to protect its sovereignty: Kovind

Guwahati: India has remained firmly committed to peace and is also determined to use all its might to protect its sovereignty, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday.

“Whenever it was required, our brave men and women in uniform have dealt with 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,” Kovind said .

He was speaking at the Indian Air Force station in the city’s Azara area after presenting the President’s Standard to the 118 Helicopter Unit and the President’s Colours to the Air Defence College.

The President, who has just returned from a visit to Vietnam and Australia, said that the world today looks at India differently.

“I have just returned from my visit to Vietnam and Australia. I held discussions with leaders of both these countries on different areas of mutual interest such as defence, international security, trade and culture. The deliberations made one thing 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. India’s rise in the international order has many dimensions to it. And it draws heavily from the capabilities and valour of our Armed Forces,” the President added.

The 118 Helicopter Unit or “Challengers” was raised on November 22, 1971 at Chabua and initially flew Mi-8s.

“Whether flying the Mi-8 or the formidable Mi-17 helicopter today, the Unit has a remarkable operational record,” said Kovind.

The Air Defence College has achieved significant milestones in the past 60 years. The college provides professional training not only to Indian Air Force officers but also to sister services from friendly countries.

“In recognition of their outstanding performance, I am pleased to award Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and the Colours to Air Defence College. I compliment the personnel and families of the Units, past and present, for their devotion and service to the nation.

“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. India is indeed proud of you,” the President said.