(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Bangladesh government said yesterday that two more new air bases will be constructed soon to further strengthen the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the announcement after inspecting a parade by new BAF officers at the Air Force Academy in Jessore, some 164km from the capital Dhaka.
She said steps are underway to establish the new air bases in southern Barisal and northeastern Sylhet regions to make the force stronger.
She expressed her optimism that the BAF would be turned into a most modern air force soon.
'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, she said.
PM Hasina said multirole combat aircraft, modern basic training helicopters, jet trainer aircraft, simulators, unmanned aerial vehicle systems, 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 has been approved, she said.
Earlier, the premier reviewed the parade and took salute at an impressive march past as the chief guest while she also handed out trophies, certificates and flying badges among the flight cadets.
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 BAF members to always be ready to play a role in any need of the country alongside safeguarding Bangladesh's independence and sovereignty.
'I hope that you will always remain vigilant in to keeping Bangladesh's air space free by being imbued with the spirit of the great Liberation War and true patriotism as well as remaining respectful to holy constitution, she said.
Hasina also directed the newly-commissioned air force officers not to consider themselves isolated from the people and to always try to bring smiles to their faces.
The premier also asked the cadets to remain active in practicing the basic training they received from the academy even in their professional life, and urged them to adapt in line with increasing technological
'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 can fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the nation, she said.