Incompetence And Bureaucracy Led To Complete Failure Of Bangladesh Air Guard, Says Air Chief Marshal Serniabat

Chief of Air Guard Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat addresses the parade of the 48th graduating batch of Bangladesh Air Guard as the chief guest, held at the Recruits' Training School at the BAF C&M Unit Shamshernagar in Moulvibazar. Photo ISPR

On September 3, Myanmar was ‘inciting war‘ on the Bangladesh border for several days; bullets and mortar shells were fired from Myanmar army helicopters across the border in Naikkyangchari. According to media reports, two shells of Myanmar’s security forces came within 120 meters of Bangladesh territory near the zero line at the Naikshyongchari border in Bandarban. The two shells exploded in the uninhabited hills, but no casualties were reported.

Dhaka has also summoned the ambassador of Myanmar. The Myanmar ambassador should be repeatedly summoned and strongly protested for such incidents.

The matter needs to be brought up in the regional forum. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh is going to Delhi, which is known to have good relations with Myanmar. The matter of Rohingya needs to be raised during the Prime Minister’s visit and be discussed in the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

Bangladesh Air Guard never counterattacks Myanmar with fighter jets, helicopters or anti-air missiles. Bangladesh really should not stay silent in this situation.

Bangladesh Air Guard is equipped with 1970s Chinese-origin J-7, eight Russian-origin MiG-29 and several Mi-17 helicopters.

Bangladesh Air Guard Chief Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat admitted at an event in the capital city Dhaka that Bangladesh Air Guard failed to deter Myanmar’s aggression. Bangladesh lacks air power and anti-air systems forcing the Bangladesh military not to militarily engage with Mynamar.

This is the first time a high-ranking military officer admitted about the failure of Bangladesh military where factual information isn’t available due to oppression of freedom of speech by the Awami League government.

According to Serniabat, Bangladesh air guard wanted to procure modern western fighter jets without naming the country of origin but failed due to bureaucracy, red tape and incompetence of Bangladesh government and military officials.

Serniabat admitted that UN peacekeeping mission also shifted the priority of Bangladesh’s armed forces, causing a diversion of funds to the army’s businesses.

Serniabat pointed out that another major factor hindering the development of the Bangladesh air guard is that the Bangladesh army, air guard, and navy do not have any capability for joint operations and even do not possess cooperative communications or datalink.

Bangladesh air guard officers and pilots need to be trained on the modern fighter jets and western jet trainers, acknowledged Serniabat. Serniabat invites academics and universities to learn and grow defense, and aerospace knowledge and skills at home.

Lack of coordination between forces is another factor hindering the procurement of modern fighter jets for the Bangladesh Air Guard. Serniabat said that the private sector should come forward and help the Bangladesh air guard to develop Industries and build strong deterrence against Myanmar.

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