Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria was in Hawaii to participate in the Pacific Air Force Chiefs Conference (PACS-2019) at the American military base in Pearl Harbour. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
The Indian Air Force has confirmed that Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and his team were present at the time of shooting incident at Joint Base Pearl Harbour Hickam, the US Navy and Air Force Base, in Hawai, USA. All the IAF personnel, including the chief are safe and unaffected by the incident, the official statement said. Bhaduaria is in Hawaii to attend the mega Pacific meet where air chiefs of 21 countries are meeting to deliberate on new defence strategies in modern world. A sailor in US Navy uniform opened fire and injured three civilian workers during the mass shooting at the strategic Pearl harbour Naval shipyard. Later, the sailor committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria was in Hawaii to participate in the Pacific Air Force Chiefs Conference (PACS-2019) at the American military base in Pearl Harbour. The theme of the conference is 'Collaborative approach towards Regional Security'. The India Air Force (IAF) chief is expected to present his views during the meeting.
"The conference will bring together air chiefs from across the Indo-Pacific region who will provide perspectives on common challenges faced and on shared mutual interests while focusing on relevant topics like regional security, domain awareness, multi-domain awareness, interoperability, and Humanitarian Assistance And Disaster Relief [HADR]," an official statement read.
One witness told local media he was sitting at his computer when he heard shots fired and rushed to the window, where he saw three victims on the ground. The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he then saw the gunman, who was wearing a sailor's uniform, shoot himself in the head. The shooting took place near the south entrance of the sprawling base located on the southern shore of Oahu. The incident unfolded three days before the 78th anniversary of the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that left 2,403 US service members dead. The worst shooting in Hawaii history took place just over 20 years ago when a Xerox employee killed seven of his colleagues.
Though extremely strategic for the US defence, the shipyard was just a quiet naval base with gorgeous location until the events of December 7, 1941. On the morning of Sunday December 7, 1941 the plan was unleashed as two waves of 350 aircraft from the Japanese combined fleet, positioned 230 miles north of Oahu, attacked the ships of the Pacific Fleet berthed in the harbor and Army and Navy aircraft parked at various installations around the island, including Hickam Field and Ford Island. America’s military forces were caught completely off guard as plane after plane descended on their unsuspecting targets. In the end, the United States would suffer the loss of 2,403 Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Soldiers and civilians, and the battleships of America’s Pacific Fleet would lie at the bottom of Pearl Harbour.