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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today reviewed the operational readiness of the strategically-important airbase at Tezpur with senior Army and Air Force officials. The maiden visit of the minister to the Eastern Command is part of her familiarisation with the formations of the Army and the Air Force. It also comes close on the heels of her visit to Northern Command and to Sikkim yesterday, an official release said. Sitharaman reviewed the operational preparedness of the Sukhoi fighter aircraft and other Indian Air Force (IAF) assets, an official release said. She reiterated the government's resolve to give further impetus to development in the border areas. Sitharaman, who arrived here from Sikkim, was received by General Officer Commanding (GOC) A S Bedi and Air Officer Commanding K V R Raju at the Tezpur Air Force station, a defence spokesman said. She was accompanied by Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen Sarath Chand and GOC-in-Chief Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. The defence minister extended her good wishes to the air warriors on the occasion of the 85th Air Force Day anniversary, as she interacted with them at the airbase. She appreciated the high standards of military discipline and preparedness of army men and women, and their excellent performance in difficult terrain and challenging environment, the release said. Sitharaman visited the Gajraj Corps Headquarters where she was briefed by Lt Gen Bedi on the overall security situation in Assam and the Kameng Sector of Arunachal Pradesh. She also paid a visit to the Solmara Military Station, Tezpur, where she interacted with the officers and jawans.
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