From Srinagar to Bikaner- Indian Air force continues to exercise on bases near Pak border


The Indian Air Force is conducting exercise along the western front from Srinagar to Bikaner amid heightened tensions with Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror attack on the army camp in Uri, the Indian media reported.

As per a TOI report, exercise is being held on all 18 air bases and related installations in the region and are taking part in “Excercise Talcon” to check and improve operational preparedness and air defence.

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Though the four-day war-games are largely defensive in nature, with combat air patrols and PAD-GD (passive air defence and ground defence) operations, it’s significant that WAC had conducted a similar Talon exercise just about a week before the terror attack on the ‘Uri Army’ camp on September 18.

Repeating the intensive manoeuvres within the same month is highly unusual, said sources, adding that it showed that the IAF was leaving nothing to chance at a time when Pakistan’s F-16s and other fighters have been taking to the skies on a regular basis across the border, apart from practising landing on highways.

The Indian Army, of course, has been refining different contingency plans in conjunction with the IAF after the Uri attack to further synergise the integrated air-land fighting machinery, even as the force has also steadily upgraded its “readiness” all along the 778-km Line of Control with additional troops, “forward movement” of ammunition and fuel dumps and the like, as was earlier reported by TOI.

There has also been a flurry of top-level military meetings over the last one week among the different top commanders as well as detailed presentations to PM Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in the military operations directorate in South Block.

While WAC Chief Air Marshal SB Deo has been visiting the different airbases under his command, chiefs of the army’s South-Western Command (Jaipur), Western Command (Chandimandir) and Northern Command (Udhampur) too have been reviewing their areas of responsibility.

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