PM asks BAF members to be efficient, ideal troops

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed the members of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) to build themselves as efficient and ideal soldiers to keep the country's air space safe.

"You will have to be groomed yourselves as efficient and ideal troops to keep the country's air space safe and free from enemy," she said.

The premier also asked them to be more careful about efficient use and maintenance of aircraft, radar and other war equipment that have been procured in exchange for hard-earned money of the people.

"You will have to be more careful about your own skill not only at home, also in the soil of abroad," she said

The premier said this while addressing the National Standard Award ceremony of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Base Bangabandhu at its parade ground at Kurmitola in the capital this morning.

At the function, the prime minister awarded the prestigious National Standard to BAF Base Bangabandhu, which started its journey on April 9 in 2013.

During the National Standard Award Ceremony, the premier witnessed a spectacular parade commanded by Group Captain Reza Emdad Khan. The prime minister was given National Salute and three "cheer up" echo, while a helicopter pass with the national flag was conducted.

Besides, a fabulous flypast by MiG-29, F-7BG and F-7BG1 fighter planes was operated followed by a special munajat for preservation of honour of the National Standard.

Earlier, on her arrival at the parade ground of BAF Base Bangabandhu, the premier was received by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar and Air Officer Commanding of BAF Base Bangabandhu Air Commodore M Mafidur Rahman.

Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, foreign diplomats, the chief of Naval Staff, the principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division as well high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.

Sheikh Hasina expressed her firm optimism that the members of the Air Force would be able to bring more successes for the country and the nation through their efficiency, patriotism and hard work.

"I also hope that you would build yourselves by taking teachings from the history of the War of Liberation and would be able to fulfill the hopes and aspiration of the people," she said.

The premier said the air force was entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the country's skylines from enemy while Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of building a modern, strong and professional air force.

Due to the farsighted and bold decision of Bangabandhu, she said, BAF started its journey in 1973 with induction of MiG-21 fighter planes, transport planes, helicopters and air defence radar.

Sheikh Hasina said after coming to power in 1996, her government procured the fourth generation most modern MiG-29, wide-bodied C-130 transport planes and high-powered air defence radar.

"In the light of the Forces Goal 2030, we are continuing our efforts to establish Bangladesh Air Force as a modern and powerful force," she said.

The premier described BAF as a "highly technical force" requiring its professional efficiency to be the most important factor.

"This efficiency increases self-confidence of the force one hand and brings reputation and dignity in the other hand," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said being the biggest war air base BAF Base Bangabandhu it has a very crucial role in air defence and particularly in resisting enemy planes for the national security.

"The base has been established as the main base of the air defence of Dhaka meaning Bangladesh and it has been providing assistance directly to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport," she said.

The premier noted with appreciation in its performance in developing a significant number of operational fighter pilots for the Air Force through successful flying training in the last five years. "It (development of skilled pilots) would further strengthen the country's air defence system," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the operational standard of squadrons that exist in the air base is most modern and international standard and "it is my firm belief that the base would be able to keep the country's air space safe and free from enemy".

The prime minister also highlighted her government's various steps for the development of the country including construction of Padma Bridge, Deep Seaport, Nuclear Power Plant in Rooppur, metro rail, LNG terminal, tunnel under Karnaphuli River and launching of Bangabandhu Satellite.

"No other governments except us did think in the past about such epoch-making projects of the infrastructure sector," she said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)