Itanagar: In yet another display of its capabilities, the Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully carried out landing of C-17 Globemaster at its strategic Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) of Mechuka in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The successful mission gives a major boost to the country's rapid airlift capability for forward operations and troop deployment in border areas, Menchuka being just 29 kilometers from the border with China.
It was a perfect combination of a state-of-the-art technology and skills of IAF's pilots that made it possible to land such a big military aircraft at an elevation of 6200 ft with a landing surface only 4200 feet long.
The Menchuka ALG, which was re-activated earlier this year in May, was non-functional since 2013 following its reconstruction work along with the ALGs of Aalo, Ziro, Tuting, Pasighat and Tezu.
Situated along the international border, Mechuka was one of the strategic locations during the Indo-China war in 1962. The McMohan Line is around 40 km from Mechuka town. The remoteness of the area can be gauged from the fact that it takes two days by road to travel to area from Dibrugarh, the nearest railhead.
The IAF had started its operations with Dakota and Otter in 1962 in the area and subsequently the Antonov-32, popularly known as AN-32, was operated till October 2013 before the reconstruction work was started.