I am pleased and honoured to officiate at this handing over and commissioning ceremony of the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters manufactured and supplied by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), an Indian company with impressive record of accomplishment since its formation in1964.
This occasion is a manifestation of the existing excellent relationship and cooperation between the peoples of the Republic of India and the Republic of Namibia in general as well as the cooperation between HAL and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Namibia in particular.
Today, we are gathered here to witness the handing over of these military helicopters, a week after other helicopters were commissioned and handed over to the Namibian Air Force. These are acts of fulfilment for the Ministry of Defence of its responsibility to equip the Namibian Air Force in particular and the Namibian Defence Force in general with adequate capability for national defence and emergency relief roles.
I would like to take this opportunity to laud the leadership and management of the Namibian Air Force while at the same time reminding them that increased capability entails increased responsibility. Therefore, you should always keep in mind that as the Air Force capability increases so should be your responsibility in terms of command and control.
In other words, we expect you to enhance your leadership standard accordingly, because we in the Ministry and Namibian Nation would expect more from you to deliver national defence and respond to national emergency relief duties effectively.
You can only respond effectively to the needs of national defence and emergency relief if you strive to maintain these military assets in good shape and make sure that those who will operate them have the necessary competencies. You must, therefore always keep in mind this responsibility as you lead the Air Force to greater heights. Furthermore, keep in mind that these assets cost the Government a fortune and we are not expecting substandard service delivery.
Please allow me at this occasion to also thank the Indian Air Force Training Team for their professional support to the Namibian Air Force, which has significantly contributed to the successes that we are jointly celebrating today.
These helicopters were supplied by HAL, a company with an excellent reputation in this field, and we trust that the continuous cooperation between HAL and the Namibian Air Force will ensure the uninterrupted operability of these helicopters.
I am sure that the two institutions will continue to work together for mutual benefit and development.
With those few remarks, I now have the honour to hand over the three helicopters to the Chief of the Namibian Defence Force for use in defending the country and assisting the nation during emergency relief duties.
I thank you.