Expressing her firm optimism that Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) would be turned into a most modern air force soon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said two new air bases will be built in the country to further strengthen the force.
“In terms of technology and strategy, Bangladesh Air Force will be established as a most modern, professional and all-round air force at home and abroad soon Insha Allah,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said setting up two new air bases -- one in Barisal and another in Sylhet -- is under process. “I believe that these activities will further strengthen the force and increase its capability,” she said.
The prime minister was addressing the President Parade of 74 Bangladesh Air Force Academy (BAFA) Course and Direct Entry 2017 Course of Bangladesh Air Force at BAF Academy Parade Ground in Jessore this morning.
Sheikh Hasina said multirole combat aircraft, modern basic training helicopters, jet trainer aircraft, simulators, unmanned aerial vehicle system, long and short range air defence RADAR and medium range surface to air missiles are going to be added to the air force.
“Besides, the organogram of the air bases and headquarters was approved,” she said.
Earlier, the premier reviewed the smartly turned-out parade and took salute at an impressive march past as the chief guest while she also handed over trophies, certificates and flying badges among the flight cadets.
Flight Cadet Academy Under Officer Ahmad Musa commanded the parade, which was followed by a spectacular fly past of different BAF aircraft.
On her arrival at the venue, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar and Commandant of BAF Academy Air Commodore ASM Fakhrul Islam received the premier.
Ministers, parliament members, army and navy chiefs, diplomats, senior civil and military officials, distinguished people in the region and guardians of the flight cadets were also present.
The premier asked the Bangladesh Air Force members to stay always ready for playing a role in any need of the country alongside safeguarding its (country) independence and sovereignty.
“I hope that you would always remain vigil to keep free Bangladesh's air space being imbued with the spirit of the great Liberation War and true patriotism as well as remaining respectful to holy constitution,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also directed the newly-commissioned air force officers not to consider themselves isolated from the people and always try to bring smiles on their faces.
“You're the children of the country and never think yourselves isolated from the common people ... you'll always try to bring smiles on their faces,” she said.
The premier asked them to remain always active in practicing the basic training they received from the academy in the working life and achieving efficiency for adapting with the increasing technological advancement and changes.
“You'll have to perform your responsibility with utmost honesty, sincerity and integrity ... you'll have to build yourselves in such a way so that you could fulfill hopes and aspirations of the nation,” she said.