Indian Air Force

Flying in oxygen tankers, Indian Air Force says ensuring no dent in support for China border operations

By ET News

Flying continuously for over 40 days to bring in oxygen from within and abroad, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday said it was ensuring that there was no let-up in its missions to support the troops deployed along the border with China and Pakistan.

Indian Army has been deployed in heavy numbers along the border with China since last year’s April-May timeframe to check the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and other locations.

“The C-17 is capable of airlifting tanks right up to Leh. We are ensuring that we undertake 24/7 COVID-related operations and at the same time, not dent or minimise operational capabilities of supporting our troops in forward areas in case of any flare-up,” Group Captain Manish Kumar told ANI while displaying operations of the C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.

The officer is part of the operational planning for the operations of the 81 squadron, which operates the C-17s in the IAF at the Air Headquarters.

81 Squadron’s commanding officer Group Captain P Sisodia said the aircraft is highly capable and has proved its worth in all types of missions and tasks assigned to it which may be to ferry tanks to a particular place or ferrying oxygen tankers to fight against the “invisible enemy” in form of COVID.

Asked how the squadron was ensuring the safety and protection of its men from the COVID-19 virus for the multiple tasks given to it at the moment, he said the crews have been made to operate in an air bubble and they have been segregated.

Three different sets of pilots are working at the moment as separate teams. They have been formed to work for COVID relief, cyclone relief, and the last one for air maintenance tasking in the northern areas with China and Pakistan.

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