With an eye on China and more than 32 months long standoff between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have jointly conducted intra-theatre air mobility exercise Vayu Prahar in the Eastern Theatre. The drill which lasted for four days (96 hours) involved not only the Indian Army, Air Force but also the Special Forces.
According to sources in the defence and security establishment the exercise was carried out in the second week of this month and the objective was to validate joint plans to prosecute synergized multiple domain operations. These operations are aimed at orchestrating military activities across all domains as that would help deliver converging effects.
Both the forces during the exercise tested its rapid mobilisation capability of an earmarked Rapid Reaction Force from the hinterland to undertake air-landed operations in a designated Advance Landing Ground (ALG). And to carry out contingency tasks in difficult high-altitude terrain conditions.
This exercise enabled not only coordination but also rehearsal among various agencies for deployment of forces, transportation and various other agencies for quick mobilisation within a theatre and then subsequently be executed across theatres.
Sources also confirmed that through this drill all procedures which are quintessential for synergized joint operations were refined and validated.
Earlier this year, as reported earlier the Indian Army, the Air Force and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) had carried out a joint training exercise ‘Trishakti Prahar’. This was in North Bengal close to the ‘Siliguri’ corridor which is of strategic importance and is popularly known as Chicken’s Neck and is a narrow strip of land that connects northeast with the rest of the country and shares borders with three countries – Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Sources stated that the main aim of the drill was to rehearse, validate and coordinate among other agencies. This was important for ensuring rapid movement and employment of forces across North Bengal. There were firepower drills too which was witnessed by the Army’s eastern Command chief and it was aimed at synergizing the firepower assets of the armed forces and CAPFs to orchestrate an integrated battle.
Tensions along the 1,346 –km stretch of the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh has escalated in the last 3-4 months and the Chinese PLA have increased the number of troops in the eastern sector including two combined arms brigades and each has around 4,500 soldiers with artillery, tanks and other weapons.
According to reports in the western sector of the LAC in eastern Ladakh both India and China continue to deploy 50,000 troops for the third year. There has been troop disengagement after several rounds of talks at different levels –diplomatic and military from Gogra, Galwan Valley, and Pangong Tso-Kailash region. Financial Express Online has so far refused to discuss two important friction points – Demchok and Depsang.