'GaganShakti-2018': IAF airlifts Army personnel across hilly north, north-east
20 April 2018
The operational commands of the Indian Air Force in coordination with Indian Army commands have carried out a major operation of airlifting forces in the high hills of the northern and north-eastern Sector.
The exercise carried out with precision, validated the capability of the IAF and the Indian Army to quickly transfer and redeploy acclimatised troops, in the simulated objective area, the defence ministry said.
Inter valley troop transfer (IVTT) a major joint operation, was conducted in the high hills of Northern and North-Eastern Sector. These operations are conducted to reposition troops from one valley to another, to counter any evolving threat and to surprise or offensively exploit the weakness of the adversary.
In the mountainous terrain the movement of the troops from one valley to another is a challenging task. IVTT operations help to reposition the desired forces within a couple of hours, which would otherwise take a couple of days.
All the three commands of IAF conducted a company level exercise in their area of operations, in a time sensitive environment. Besides achieving tactical transfer of army troops, the operations also showcased the capability of the IAF to operationalise forward ALG’s by setting up communications and refueling facilities, and preparing aircraft operating surface.
The IAF carried out the operations using C-130 and AN-32 tactical transport aircraft and Mi-17 V5 / ALH helicopters, also validating the versatile maneuvering capabilities of these platforms in an extremely demanding high altitude terrain.
IAF said the operations were meticulously planned by the planning staff and the aircrew executed the demanding and rigorous operations by flying in a coordinated manner, giving due importance to the flight safety. In addition to the aircrew, the maintenance and administrative personnel, worked relentlessly through day and night, to ensure smooth conduct of these high intensity operations.