Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday commended the Indian Air Force (IAF) for successfully conducting various military exercises and emphasised on the challenges to Defence forces due to the rapidly changing geo-political situation in the world and the uncertainties existing in the region.

Inaugurating the three-day Commanders Conference of the IAF, he appreciated their operations towards humanitarian assistance and disaster relief both within and outside the country. Acknowledging IAF's capability as the first responder, especially in the face of a natural calamity, he emphasised the resolve of the government in expediting approved modernisation programmes of the service.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal B S Dhanoa, spoke of the operational status of IAF and the progress on infrastructure development. He highlighted the efforts made to enhance aircraft serviceability towards maintaining operational readiness.

The Air Chief also outlined the achievements during the recently conducted pan-IAF and international exercises with friendly foreign countries and elaborated the actions initiated for enhancing operational effectiveness and the future roadmap of IAF.

During the conference, the senior leadership of the IAF would deliberate on issues pertaining to enhancement of combat effectiveness and development of human resources and infrastructure.

To encourage indigenisation and enhance self-reliance in defence manufacturing a day-long interactive session has been planned with delegations from HAL, BEL and other Defence PSUs.

The CAS would also present trophies for excellence in various domains including cyber, communication, sports and welfare activities.