Western Command carries out disaster management exercise

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Chandigarh, May 7 (UNI) The Indian Army's Western Command today conducted a major disaster management exercise--Exercise Mountain Rescue--at Annadale Ground in Shimla.

The aim of the exercise was to practice evacuation of civilian population from the disaster affected areas in the mountains, a Defence release issued here stated.

ALH and Chetak helicopters from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the army's aviation wing participated in the exercise alongwith troops from the Indian Army's Special Forces and units stationed in Shimla. The aviation wing's helicopters practiced casualty evacuation drills in conjunction with the army's Special Forces and troops from the units. The exercise was conducted in conjunction with civil administration and troops from home guards and the fire services department.

"Army plans to conduct such exercises in future also to rehearse drills during disaster management," the release said.

"Major calamities that have struck the Indian sub-continent during the last decade, have underscored the need to adopt a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to disaster management. Within the ambit of this approach, the armed forces constitute a significant and potent entity available with the central and state governments for disaster response and relief." Over the years, the scope of Army's role in disaster management has enlarged gradually. The Disaster Management Act of 2005 has ensured that the Army's role in disaster response remain focussed on critical issues, with optimal utilisation of dedicated resources, it added.

UNI PS VN1501

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