- India preps up troops for harsh winters across eastern Ladakh amid continuing India-China deadlock.
- Joint airlift exercises conducted the IAF in conjunction with the IAF.
Indian and Chinese armies continue to remain deadlocked in the eastern region of Ladakh. India, meanwhile, is making attempts to boost logistics supply and winter stocks to the operational areas. Given the same, ‘Operation Hercules’ was launched jointly by the Army and the IAF. It comprised of five C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft in addition to IL-76 and AN-32 planes from Chandigarh and other places to Ladakh.
The operation aimed at strengthening the logistics stocking in the region coupled with the augmentation of winter supplies in the expanse. This endeavour by the IAF illustrates the heavy-lift capability which has been instrumental in ensuring prompt response amid contingencies in the past.
To cite one incident indicative of the above, military clashes between India and China during April-May last year witnessed the IAF’s role in assisting the army in the swift mobilisation of the troops and equipment to functional areas.
Beginning of this month, the army had also performed a significant three-day ‘airborne insertion and combat’ exercise in the eastern region of Ladakh. The exercise involved tonnes of pre-acclimatized troops and hefty weapon systems being para-dropped at an altitude exceeding 14,000 feet and temperatures dipping to minus 20 degrees.
The 18 month-long deadlock stands unresolved with China declining the completion of stalled group disengagement at the Patrolling Point-15 (PP-15) along the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area during the 13th round of the unit’s commander-level talks held on 10th October.
The refractory face-offs at Charding Ninglung Nallah track junction at Demchok alongside the tactically-situated Depsan Plains have not de-escalated so far. This implies that both the countries will retain each of their 50,000 troops equipped with tanks, howitzers and surface-to-surface air missiles deployed in the high altitude region for the second consecutive winter.