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The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today called upon the Services to ‘act in reconciliation amongst themselves’ while expanding their role on overlapping spheres so that the country can have better and strong Armed Forces. He offered to play ‘a limited role in finding reconciliation’ towards that effort. Shri Antony’s remarks came at a Seminar on Army Aviation here when several speakers advocated a greater role for this youngest army wing.

“Although you (Army Aviation Corps) are going in for force accretion, while enhancing your capabilities and performing your role, you must ensure that there is perfect synergy between Army and Air Force. Services will have to act in reconciliation amongst themselves so that India can have better and strong and Armed Forces. In your attempt at arriving at reconciliation, I will try to play a limited role in finding such reconciliation”, he said.

Shri Antony said, in the current scenario, asymmetric challenges can come through land, air or water and even by cyber space. In such a situation, a joint air, land and maritime campaign will be an essential requirement. He called upon the Armed Forces to adopt a holistic approach to Security as no single wing of our Security Forces can work in isolation. ‘The need for synergy and pooling in of efforts and resources is being felt, like never before’, he said. Referring to modernization of Armed Forces, Shri Antony said, the government is fully aware that some nations are augmenting their infrastructure and modernizing their military capabilities. He said, instead of unduly worrying about this, ‘we must also continue to improve our infrastructure at a steady pace. At the moment, we are doing that’, he said.

Shri Antony said, the nature of warfare has changed drastically. The challenges range from terrorism, asymmetric threats, internal disturbances to conventional warfare. ‘Wars of the future will be short, limited, but intense’, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh complimented the Army Aviation Corps for fulfilling its mandate to a great extent in the last 25 years. Making a prognosis for the future, Gen Singh said closer integration of all resources and assets will be important for success in any theatre of conflict.

The former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash, an ace aviator himself, traced the history of naval and army aviation wings and advocated a realistic appraisal of their role viz. the Air Force taking into account the security dynamics and objectives in a conflict situation.

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