Millennium Post (Kolkata)

IAF’s ‘Gagan Shakti’ exercise from April 1-10, Army providing logistical support: Sources


NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force’s ‘Gagan Shakti’ mega exercise is slated to be held over 10 days starting April 1, encompassi­ng both western and northern fronts, sources said on Tuesday.

Fighter planes and helicopter­s taking off from different parts of the country will “engage pseudo targets” at Pokhran Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan during the massive exercise held every five years, the sources in the defence establishm­ent said.

Ahead of ‘Gagan Shakti 2024’, the Indian Army has been involved in providing logistical support to the IAF in the true spirit of “achieving synergy in various domains”, they said.

The exercise “encompassi­ng both the western and northern fronts” is scheduled to be conducted from April 1-10, they said, The Army has facilitate­d a “comprehens­ive pan-India move of approximat­ely 10,000 IAF personnel” and ammunition to validate the Operationa­l Rail Mobilisati­on Plan (ORMP) aspects of the IAF, the sources said. “This involved formulatio­n and facilitati­on of rail move plan from various clusters pan-India for onward and return journey as per an operationa­l plan,” the source added.

Various passenger trains time-tabled and with all amenities, including, meals and bedding -0 have been provided by the Army at Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi and Kanpur.

They will move to various destinatio­ns across the length and breadth of the country within a span of three days with effect from March 25, they said.

These passenger trains have been named ‘Sanyukta Express’ trains to denote the inter-service camaraderi­e. Their return journeys have been planned in April, the sources in the defence establishm­ent said.

Liaison and movement support is being ensured through Movement Control Organisati­ons (MCOs) of the Indian Army. The MCOs en route have been tasked to monitor movement in coordinati­on with “a control cell” establishe­d at the Army Headquarte­rs, as is to be carried out during operations, the sources added.

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