Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa has stressed the need for accelerated induction of the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) to ensure the country’s defence preparedness.

Addressing the Commanders' Conclave at the Southern Air Command here on Thursday, he emphasised the increasing importance of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from India's national security and economic perspective and the strategic role of SAC in the region.

Earlier, Mr. Dhanoa accompanied by his wife, Kamalpreet Dhanoa, arrived at the Headquarters Southern Air Command (SAC) on a two- day visit. They were received at the  Air Force Base by Air Marshal B Suresh and Group Captain PK Awasthi, Station Commander of the Air Force Station, Trivandrum.

The CAS was presented with a ceremonial guard of honour by a contingent of air warriors on his arrival at SAC.

Mr. Dhanoa recalled the active contribution of SAC since its inception and the crucial role played by it during various operations. He lauded the efforts of SAC in providing air rescue, relief and rehabilitation support during the Kerala floods last year and exhorted everyone to be on standby at all times to provide immediate succour to people in distress.

Ms Kamalpreet Dhanoa, who is also the president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA), reviewed the progress of various welfare activities and complimented the Southern Air Command on its cleanliness drive and 'green' initiatives.