IAF pilots battle hostile weather; NDRF UAVs to hit Nepal

By: OneIndia Defence Desk
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New Delhi, April 27: The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots braved hostile weather and continued with its search and rescue mission in the quake-hit Nepal.

Sources in the IAF told OneIndia that the first priority of all fixed wing aircraft (over 10 now in operation) is to provide relief and evacuation.


"We have stepped up the mission and many assets have been put on stand-by mode as well. Weather has been a problem since yesterday but that has not deterred the plans. We are mandated to bring to bring back maximum Indians and even other nationals and also provide maximum relief material," an IAF official said.

He confirmed that the IAF pilots have now got a grip over the terrain awareness after yesterday's combines sorties with the Nepali pilots.

IAF battle 2

As reported in these columns yesterday, the IAF had already positioned six Medium Lift Helicopters tasked with casualty evacuation, rescue and relief missions. They include four Mi 17 V5s and two Mi 17 helicopters.

NDRF sent more men and equipment

Similar to Air Force Station Palam, the IAF's another base at Chandigarh (12 Wing) too is actively participating in the rescue operations. "Already a batch of NDRF personnel and other support teams, including sniffer dogs have landed in Kathmandu from Chandigarh," the official said.

IAF battle 3

Ministry of Defence Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said that the IAF will be completed the aborted sorties today.
He said the IAF continued its operations last night despite odds.

The Palam base witnessed many heart-warming scenes last night as anxious relatives eagerly waited for their near and dear ones.

IAF battle 4

Sources, meanwhile, said that the NDRF is air-lifting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to speed-up the search operations in Nepal.

"This is a standard practice when the communication lines are snapped and the degree of damage is not exactly known. NDRF has trained men to operate the UAVs which have been already put to use during floods," an official said.

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