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NewsOperation Meghdoot: A Tale of Valor and Endurance in the Siachen Glacier

Operation Meghdoot: A Tale of Valor and Endurance in the Siachen Glacier

The IAF's commitment to Operation Meghdoot has remained unwavering, with the deployment of a diverse range of aircraft, including the latest acquisitions such as the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.

It was on April 13, 1984, that a pivotal chapter in India’s military history unfolded as the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) launched Operation Meghdoot to secure the Siachen Glacier, situated in the Northern Ladakh region.

The operation was a response to Pakistan’s attempts to assert its presence in the area and was fueled by concerns over Pakistan’s cartographic aggression and its efforts to allow foreign mountaineering expeditions in the strategically vital region.

The operation commenced with the airlifting of Indian Army soldiers by the IAF, who were then dropped on the glacial peaks to establish Indian presence in the region.

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Notably, the IAF had been operating in the Siachen Glacier since 1978, with Chetak helicopters being the first to land in the glacier in October of that year. However, it was in 1984 that the operation saw a significant escalation, with the deployment of troops to secure strategic heights on Siachen.

Despite the extreme challenges posed by the harsh terrain and weather conditions, the IAF played a crucial role in supporting the Army’s efforts.

Tactical and strategic airlifters such as An-12s, An-32s, and IL-76s transported troops and supplies, while helicopters like Mi-17s, Mi-8s, Chetaks, and Cheetahs ferried men and material to dizzying heights on the glacier.

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This logistical support was instrumental in positioning about 300 troops on strategically important peaks and passes of the glacier, giving India a tactical advantage in the region.

Over the years, the IAF’s presence in the region expanded, with fighter aircraft also being deployed to assert Indian dominance.

Fighter operations commenced from the high altitude airfield at Leh, with Hunters from No. 27 Squadron conducting operations from September 1984 onwards.

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As fighter sweeps and simulated strikes were carried out over the glacier, it bolstered the morale of Indian troops and sent a clear message to the adversary.

The IAF’s commitment to Operation Meghdoot has remained unwavering, with the deployment of a diverse range of aircraft, including the latest acquisitions such as the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.

These aircraft, including Rafales, Su-30MKIs, Chinooks, Apaches, and various helicopters, continue to support the operation, ensuring the logistical supply and evacuation of personnel from the glacier.

In the highest battlefield in the world, the IAF’s helicopters serve as the lifeline for Indian troops, providing critical support and responding to emergencies in the ruthless terrain.

The dedication and resilience displayed by the IAF personnel in these challenging conditions are a testament to their unwavering commitment to duty and service to the nation.

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As Operation Meghdoot continues to evolve, the IAF’s role remains indispensable, with records of human endurance, flying, and technical proficiency being set by the brave men and women of the Indian Air Force nearly every day.

relentless efforts ensure that India maintains its strategic advantage in the region, safeguarding the nation’s interests in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.

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Pratham Gurung
Pratham Gurung
An avid movie buff who aspires to make it into the armed forces. Always had a knack for words so reading and writing are my favourite hobbies. Can debate on anything but not everything.
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