New Delhi: A K Antony Tuesday became the
first Defence Minister to land at the Nyoma Advanced Landing
Ground (ALG) near the Line of Actual Control during his maiden
visit to Siachen Glacier.
Antony flew in a Mi-17 helicopter from Leh air base to
land at Nyoma, at a height of 13,300 feet, which was opened
last year on September 18 with the landing of an AN-32
aircraft, Defence Ministry officials said.
The ALG has been developed to connect the remote areas
of Ladakh to the mainland and to continue troop movement
during winters when the roads are closed due to heavy
He also reviewed the security situation in the eastern
and western sectors of the state and was given a detailed
briefing on the security situation on the border by the 14
Corps Commander Lt Gen S K Singh, officials said.
The minister was also briefed about the aerial
operations carried out by the IAF in the sector by Leh
airbase commander Air Commodore Anil Tiwari.
In-charge of air operations in Jammu and Kashmir Air
Vice Marshal J Chauhan briefed Antony on the future
infrastructure development, such as developing composite
airbase at forward areas to enhance infrastructure for air
operations, they added.
Stressing on the improvement in the quality of life
of IAF personnel posted at high-altitude areas, Antony also
reviewed various welfare measures being implemented by the
station`s administration for the purpose.
Want better socks: Jawans
Meanwhile, reduction in telephone call rates, better socks and more snow mobiles -- these were some of
the demands put forth by Army jawans at Siachen Glacier when
Antony met them there.
"The jawans wanted that some of the accessories such
as quality of socks should be improved. They also wanted
increased number of snow mobiles for their operational
requirements," Defence Ministry officials said here.
The jawans also requested the Defence Minister to
ensure that telephone call rates are reduced to facilitate
communication with their family members, they added.
After listening to the demands, Antony assured them
that early action will be taken on all the issues raised by
During the interaction at the Siachen Base Camp, the
Defence Minister spoke to a number of men and officers of the
Army and Air Force and sought their frank views on the
conditions they are working in.
The Defence Minister also met a group of soldiers who
had just returned after posting in the high altitude areas and
gifted them fresh vegetables and fruits from the Defence
Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) here.
The Defence Minister also visited DIHAR, which is
currently working on a project of greening Ladakh with
sustainable plant cultivation.