PM awards National Standard to BAF Base Zahurul Haque

New Age Online
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– New Age file photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina today awarded the National Standard to Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Base Zahurul Haque hoping that the BAF will uphold the honour, dignity and pride of the National Standard through patriotism and professionalism, the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha reports.
She expressed her government’s firm resolve to build Bangladesh Air Force as a strong and effective force through its further modernization saying the Awami League government always gave special importance to the development of Bangladesh Air Force and welfare of its members.
‘We are determined to maintain the continuation of this development,’ she said.
Addressing a function on the occasion at Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Base Zahurul Haque at Patenga here today, the Prime Minister said, ‘before celebrating the golden jubilee of independence, we would build the air force as a strong and effective force strategically Insha Allah through its further modernization.’
BAF Base Zahrul Haque, located 20-km to the Chittagong City, was established after the independence considering the needs of overall security of the South-eastern part of the country and the territorial waters.
Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inaugurated operation of the base after independence which has been making significant contribution to strengthening the air force and cause of the nation.
On the National Standard Awarding ceremony, an attractive parade of the BAF was held on the parade ground of the Zahurul Hque Air Base. The parade was commanded by Group Captain Syed Sayeedur Rahman.
As the Prime Minister arrived at the venue Air Chief Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari, ndu, psc and Officer Commanding of the Base Commodore Md Humayun Kabir received her.
The PM inspected the parade and took salute. The national anthem was played at that time. During the parade, the Prime Minister was given ‘National Salute’ and three ‘Cheer Up’ echo and a helicopter past with National Flag was conducted.
Cabinet members, parliament members, chiefs of Bangladesh Army and Naval Staff, senior officials of the Armed Forces, para military forces, diplomats and civil dignitaries were present. Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working to turn the air force into a time-befitting and all round force in the light of the “Forces Goal-2030”.
‘It is my belief that Bangladesh Air Force would make more effective contribution to the country and nation’s development programme through modernization,’ she said.
The Prime Minister put emphasis on united efforts of army, navy and air force to protect the country from the external force. “That’s why we gave special importance to the development of army and navy and implemented massive uplift programmes for their development in our previous tenure,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is implementing a balanced development through its limited resources. We hope that our patriotic army, navy and air force would uphold Bangladesh’s red and green flag on the world stage by containing the spirit of the Great War of Liberation.
Noting that earning professional efficiency is a must for the members of any force, the PM said it increases self-confidence in one hand and brings fame and dignity for the organization on the other.
She also called upon the members of the air force to build themselves as efficient and ideal air troops. For this, better training and hard labour are necessary. Besides, you will have to remember the supreme sacrifice and struggle of millions for independence.
The PM said whenever Awami League formed government it contributed to the development of Bangladesh Air Force by following the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘In 1996, we inducted the fourth generation war planes MiG-29 and C-130 transport planes in the air force and set up high-powered air defence Radar,’ she said.
She said her government during its previous tenure from 2009-2013 implemented massive programmes for the development of the air force. ‘For the air force, we procured 16 war planes from China and three Mi-171 helicopters from Russia,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has set up an air base in Cox’s Bazar. ‘And surface to air missile system has been added to the air force for the first time,’ she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre has been established in the air force base Bangabandhu. “Two most-modern maritime search and rescue helicopters AW-130 would be inducted in the air force very soon,” she said, adding the choppers would be operated from air base Bangabandhu.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken initiatives for setting up Bangabandhu Complex at Air Force Academy in Jessore for research of probationary pilots and other probationary officers and their quality training. “The infrastructural development of the complex is underway,” she said.
The PM said that the number of the air force members in the UN Peacekeeping Missions is being increased. The manpower of the force is being enhanced thanks to setting up new units.
‘It also paves the way for promotion and raises the mental strength and working spirit,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said service length of the air force pilots has been increased for utilizing their experience and efficiency effectively for the development of the country.
‘We have re-fixed the duration of the job of air troops by keeping consistency with their ranks,’ she said.
Wishing an enduring success of Bangladesh Air Force and bright future of all its members, the PM called upon all to be imbued with the spirit of the War of Liberation and build Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu.

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