At a time when the Chinese forces are holding exercises at their training areas opposite Eastern Ladakh, Indian Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria today visited Leh to review the operational preparedness of the force deployed there.
Sources said the chief was briefed on the operational preparedness and the ongoing operations along the China border by the officials at the Leh airbase. The chief was also briefed extensively about the air maintenance operations in support of the Indian Army and the paramilitary troops there, they said.
The Air Force has two major bases in Leh and Thoise which help it look after both China and Pakistan border. It has also deployed troops at the forward locations all along the eastern Ladakh sector including the Nyoma advanced landing ground and the airfield in Daulat Beg Oldi.
The Chinese military is holding exercises, which includes its Air Force and Army, close to locations from where they diverted troops towards Indian front last year. The Rafale combat aircraft are also regularly deployed in the sector along with the MiG-29 fighters which have been based there for a long time now. The Air Force has also flown extensively since last year in support of the Army by helping it get its tanks and infantry combat vehicles at a fast pace.
The Chinooks of the force also helped in the quick mobilization of the troops to the forward areas from Leh and other locations. This year also, the IAF has ensured that the operations in northern areas are not affected due to the engagement in COVID relief work.
“The scale of operations this time is unprecedented. We’ve flown almost 1600 sorties amounting to almost 3200 hrs of flying. We have airlifted almost 14,000 tons of load and about 800 odd liquid medical oxygen containers,” Group Captain, Manish Kumar from IAF headquarters told ANI