Gagan Shakti 2018: IAF, Army undertake mass air evacuation drill, high hill troop transfer in East, North-Eastern sector

The IVTT was conducted in the high hills of Northern and North-Eastern Sector

Gagan Shakti 2018: IAF, Army undertake mass air evacuation drill, high hill troop transfer in East, North-Eastern sector

In the ongoing Gagan Shakti 2018 exercise, the Indian Air Force along with the Indian Army undertook an InterValleyTroopTransfer (IVTT) and a mass casualty air evacuation drill. 

The IVTT was conducted in the high hills of Northern and North-Eastern Sector, while the air evacuation drill was carried out in Kolkata on April 19. 

 

“The aim of the (IVTT) exercise was to validate the capability of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army to quickly transfer and redeploy acclimatized troops, in the simulated objective area. 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,” said the Defence Ministry in a release.

“In the mountainous terrain the movement of the troops from one valley to another is a challenging task. The redeployment of forces from one area of interest to another may at times take couple of days. IVTT operations help to reposition the desired forces within a couple of hours,” it added.

C-130 and AN-32 tactical transport aircraft and Mi-17 V5 / ALH helicopters were used for the missions. “Owing to their versatile maneuvering capabilities, these platforms are most adaptable in an extremely demanding high altitude terrain.”

 

The Eastern Air Command (EAC) also conducted a mass casualty air evacuation drill from Air Force Station Chabua in Assam to Netaji Subhash International Airport, Kolkata and further to Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Alipore by road. 

Gagan Shakti 2018 is a large-scale IAF exercise which is currently in its second phase. The IAF is playing out real-time scenarios across the country, and testing out its working relationship with the Indian Army and Indian Navy as part of the exercises.

The 2018 edition of the biennial Gagan Shakti exercise will end on April 22. 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been visiting various air force establishments to gauge the operational capability and preparedness of the IAF.

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