National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 08 May 2020
Today, a combination of Indian Army and IAF helicopters and Indian Army troops were pressed into service to undertake a daring evacuation of the crew of IAF helicopters and Air Dispatch crew, stranded on the icy heights of North Sikkim due to an emergency landing of IAF helicopters in a remote and inaccessible area. Evacuation of the four IAF crew and Air Dispatch personnel from a super high altitude emergency landing site, braving snow blizzards and undulating ground, which required synergy between the helicopters and ground based rescue parties, stands testimony to the spirit of the Armed Forces of India. The rescue operation demanded pushing to limits, both man and machine, for the successful extrication of the stranded crew.
The stranded military personnel braved inclement weather conditions for several hours before being evacuated. Immediately on receipt of information, on 07 May 2020, Indian Army rescue columns with personnel of ITBPs too, moved on foot, traversing dangerous terrain in bad weather, to the helicopter landing site to evacuate the individuals and provide medical aid, for which a doctor of the ITBP also accompanied.
Later, a combination of Army and Air Force helicopters were launched at the stroke of dawn on 08 May 2020, who executed a daring landing on an unprepared ground at an altitude of 15500 ft, and rescued the stranded personnel.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.