The prime minister said Bangladesh Air Force is playing a pioneering role
in tackling natural disasters, rescue operation and relief distribution at
home and abroad.

“Air Force also brightened Bangladesh’s image in the world by making
significant contributions to the UN peacekeeping missions,” she said.

The premier said the air force which spread its wings with only three
aircraft during the war of liberation is now enriched with most modern
fighter planes, air defence RADAR, missiles and latest technologies.

Reminding the air force members that Bangladesh earned its independence in
exchange for blood of three million martyrs, she said Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of building a happy and prosperous

Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation framed a defence policy in 1974
to build strong and trained armed forces suitable for an independent state.

Bangabandhu, she said, also took an initiative to establish a modern air
force considering Bangladesh’s geographical location and military strategical

The prime minister said after the assassination of Bangabandhu none took
any initiatives for the development of armed forces.

She said the Awami League government after assuming office in 1996 took
programmes for modernisation and making more time-befitting the air force.

“We inducted the fourth generation MiG-29 fighter planes, wide-bodied C-
130 transport planes and high-powered air defence RADAR into the air force in
2000,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government in 2000 for the first time appointed
female commissioned officers in the armed forces.

She said her government framed the long-term “Forces Goal-2030” in the
light of the Defence Policy of Bangabandhu.

“In line with it, we’ve already added different types of fighter planes,
transport planes, helicopters, surface to air missiles and high-powered air
defence RADAR,” she said.

The premier said the construction work of international standard
Bangabandhu Complex for the Air Force Academy is progressing fast. “With the
completion of its work, the working area of the academy will be increased and
the quality of the training will be enhanced,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government remains active for setting up new
installations for modernisation and fulfilling the future demand of the

“With the completion of these development works, I hope that the academy
will be able to bring laurels not only at home, also on the world stage,” she

Pointing out Bangabandhu’s foreign policy — “friendship to all malice to
none”, the premier said Bangladesh wants to advance in the light of this

She said Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world and
made visible progress in socioeconomic uplift.

“We want to stand on the world stage keeping our head high and taking
forward this achievement … the days are not far away, when Bangladesh will
establish itself as a developed and prosperous country Insha Allah,” she

With today’s Winter President Parade, a total of 79 flight cadets — 68
flight cadets from 74 BAF Academy Course and 11 from Direct Entry 2017 —
were commissioned. Among them 13 were female cadets.

Flight Cadet Mirza Md Zobair Hossain was presented with the coveted “Sword
of Honour” for his best all round performance in 74 BAF Academy Course, while
Flight Cadet Shahriar Tanjim received the “Commandant’s Trophy” for his best
performance in General Service Training.

Flight Cadet Mirza Md Zobair Hossain received “Birshreshtha Matiur Rahman
Trophy” for his best performance in flying training, while Flight Cadet FM
Shahidul Islam Sujon received “Chief of Air Staff Trophy” for his best all
round performance in Ground Batch.

Number 01 Squadron which was adjudged the “Champion Squadron,” was awarded
with Academy Colour for overall performance.

Two pilots of air force and two pilots of Bangladesh Navy received flying
badges from the prime minister.

BSS/SH/GMR/1248 hrs