Tatmadaw (Air) establishment enters 71st anniversary; empower air strength for national defence; Tatmadaw aircraft commissioned 

Nay Pyi Taw, December 15 

Tatmadaw (Air) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was established on 15 December 1947 and it has reached the 71st anniversary today. On the 71st anniversary of Tatmadaw (Air), a significant and honourable day for the State and the Tatmadaw, four JF-17 aircraft and two ATR 72-500 aircraft and one Eurocopter totalling seven were commissioned into service at the Flying Training Base in Meiktila Station this morning. 

Present on the occasion were Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, retired Commander-in-Chiefs (Navy), retired Commander-in-Chiefs (Air), senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, the commander of Central Command, airbase commanders, officers and other ranks and their families from Meiktila Station, teachers, students, members of War Veterans Organization from Tatmadaw (Air) and invited guests. The Commander-in-Chief (Air) explained facts about the ceremony. 

Speaking on the occasion, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing explained the aims of holding the ceremony to launch aircraft and helicopter, the importance of air strength and efforts for Tatmadaw (Air) to catch up with air forces of the regional countries. 

“The ceremony to commission Tatmadaw aircraft and helicopters into service has been held nine times and this is the 10th. Empowering the air force means promoting the spirit of officers and other ranks from Tatmadaw (Air) as well as contributing to the combat power and combat skills of the Tatmadaw. 

Studying wars of the 21st century, air strength and space strength are much important for victory. Focus has been on air dominance and air superiority by taking upper hand over the enemy through air superiority so as to improve morality and combat skills. Thus, training is always necessary for the Tatmadaw to have superior air strength. In strengthening State defence, it is also necessary to use the combined force of military support technology and military skills. Physical support alone is not enough and it is required to turn out skilled pilots capable of well handling modern aircraft and equipment and skilled mechanical engineers. Aims and objectives must be set for Tatmadaw (Air) to be able to catch up with regional air forces by making best use of modern technology. People should remember what General Aung San told a crowd of people in front of the Yangon City Hall in July 1947. He said Myanmar needed at least 500 aircraft to defend itself. For today’s Tatmadaw (air), emphasis must be paid on increasing the number of fighter planes, ensuring powerful aircraft and nurturing skillful pilots, engineers and ground troops. With accumulating experience, efforts must be made to manufacture aircraft domestically. Since Tatmadaw (Air) alone cannot fully protect the country’s airspace, coordination must be sought from air defence troops. When it comes to national defence, we must know that cooperation of all troops from the Army, Navy and Air is necessary,” said the Senior General. 

The Senior General honoured the history of Tatmadaw (Air) and its endeavours for the State and the people as follows:- 

‘‘In looking back the history of Tatmadaw (Air), multi-coloured rebels and insurgents which emerged after the post-independence period were attacked with the use of least troops and a few numbers of planes. Moreover, it can be seen that Tatmadaw (Army), Tatmadaw (Navy) and Tatmadaw (Air) joined hands with the people in courageously participating to drive out external invasions, combat internal insurgency and eradicate narcotic drugs. Tatmadaw (Air) at forefront timely gives a helping hand to the people facing natural disasters while safeguarding lives and property of the people, with efforts to provide assistance for all public welfare tasks including education, health and social affairs. Tatmadaw (Air) is not only discharging State defence and training duties but also carrying out nation-building tasks such as transport duty to far-flung regions, humanitarian aid, rescuing in natural disasters, searching and saving tasks at full capacity.’’ 

With regard to participation of Myanmar female pilots in the State defence force, the Senior General said, ‘‘Servicewomen are being turned out for enhancing the role of women and discharging duties in the Tatmadaw. Currently, six female pilots have been turned out in the history of Tatmadaw (Air), and they are deployed at respective assigned units on flight duties. This year, five more female pilots are under training in the second batch. In order to turn out one pilot, the trainee tries hard in the training while the government takes adequate time for training with a large sum of cost. Hence, the Senior General stressed the need for female pilots to make utmost efforts for skillfully taking out of the flight duties of respective airplanes in the long run and then continue training to have experiences for handling the fighter planes and jet fighters.’’ 

The Senior General also noted that the Tatmadaw needs to be powerful, capable, prowess and modern patriotic Tatmadaw in order to completely defend the independence and sovereignty of the State. Likewise, it needs to build the Tatmadaw to have combat power in line with the motto “Only when the Tatmadaw is strong, will the nation be strong”. 

The Senior General pointed out, ‘‘Military units must gradually be constituted in conformity with the present era to shape the Standard Army, with a plan to form compact and strong units. In observing the wars of new era, emphasis is placed on dominant battle space knowledge and precision strike. Hence, the Senior General said the Tatmadaw must set a vision to keep abreast of international armed forces by applying advancement of current technologies.’’ 
In respect of good results in obeying disciplines and obedience which are good traditions of the Tatmadaw, the Senior General highlighted, ‘‘Tatmadaw formed as an organization based on disciplines in line with the motto “military disciplines is backbone of the Tatmadaw” is standing tall till today because of good military disciplines and obedience. With regard to newly-commissioned airplanes, the Senior General stressed the need to systemati-cally handle the flying of airplanes and helicopters which are weapons of Tatmadaw (Air) to be able to uplift prestige of the Tatmadaw in line with the fact—adore your arms—in the military code of conduct. As today’s ceremony to commission airplanes and helicopters into service helps Tatmadaw (Air) upgrade aviation power as well as contributes towards improvement of the Tatmadaw for State defence capability, it is a significant day for the Tatmadaw and the State.’’ 

Chief of Staff (Air) Maj-Gen Tun Aung declared the commissioning of the aircraft. Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw then presented small-scale models of aircraft to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as the commemorative gifts of the ceremony. 

At the airshow, squadron-wise fly-past and diving were demonstrated. First, a transport helicopter bearing the State Flag and two escort combat helicopters flew in group formation, followed by the aerial demonstration of three transport helicopters bearing the flags of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) in group formation, three helicopters flying in VIC formation, one medium transport plane and two training helicopters flying in VIC formation, one medium transport plane and four training planes flying in arrowhead formation, one medium transport plane and two jetfighters flying in VIC formation, five jetfighters flying in arrowhead formation, and leaving yellow, white and blue trails, the colours of the flag of the Tatmadaw (Air) and one bomber and two interceptors flying in VIC formation saluted the Senior General. 

At the diving demonstration, three multipurpose light jetfighters demonstrated oblique loop and three some flying in a row, level 8 and aileron roll, and three multipurpose jetfighters demonstrated level 8, combat turn and fan break. 

The Senior General and party freed 71 birds. They then sprinkled scented water on the commissioned aircraft, inspected them and posed for documentary photo. 

The Senior General cordially conversed with the pilots who took part in the airshow and presented them cash awards. Of the aircraft commissioned today, Eurocopter can transport passengers, conduct search and rescue operations, fly reconnaissance missions and serve duties in high mountainous regions as well as plains. 

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