In an effort to help the civil administration in the fight against the global pandemic, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been flying overseas as well as domestically airlifting empty Oxygen tankers and cylinders as well as delivering medical supplies.
In an effort to help the civil administration in the fight against the global pandemic, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been flying overseas as well as domestically airlifting empty Oxygen tankers and cylinders as well as delivering medical supplies. These empty tanks are coming from the ASEAN member countries, the Gulf countries as well as members of the European Union (EU). The medical relief materials as well as empty cylinders from countries like the US, the UK, Russia, Japan, Canada, South Korea and Egypt among many others have arrived on their military aircraft.
Since April 24, 2021, the IAF has dropped 139 empty tankers at the Ranchi airport in different sorties. From Ranchi they were sent to Jharkhand for refilling of the Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) before being dispatched to various states either by road or on board trains.
Why was IAF used?
The transport aircraft have the capacity to carry huge empty tankers (of 10 MT -20MT) and cylinders and by airlifting a lot of precious time was saved.
IAF deployed C 17, C 130J, AN 32, IL 76, and other small aircraft which have been ferrying around the essential medical materials as well as tanks and cylinders on priority basis.
C17 Globemaster has airlifted 35 tonnes of COVID medical supplies from Frankfurt, Germany. This load was flown to Mumbai on May 11, 2021. The plane had taken off from Hindan Air Base and after flying nonstop for 12 hours landed in Frankfurt airport. And in a quick turnaround, flew back with the load after clocking non-stop 10 hours and reached Mumbai.
Internally, C-17 aircraft has airlifted 2 tankers from Indore airport to Jamnagar, and 2 cryogenic oxygen tankers from Agra to Jamnagar.
According to the IAF, early morning on May 12, 2021, the aircraft took off from Agra and has already landed back at its base in the city.
Update on the sorties of the IAF till morning of May 12, 2021
98 sorties/ 480 hours/ 95 containers
793.1 MT (containers) + 204.5 (other equipment)
634 sorties/ 939 hours/ 403 containers
6856.2 MT (containers) + 163.3 MT (other equipment).
Indian Navy’s Operation Samudra Setu II
According to the update shared by the Indian Navy on May 12, 2021, INS Tarkash, has arrived in Mumbai with a consignment of two Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) filled (20 MT each) cryogenic containers and 230 Oxygen cylinders. These have been handed over to the Civil Administration, Maharashtra.
As has been reported earlier by Financial Express Online, these Oxygen containers have been facilitated by the French Mission as part of “Oxygen Solidarity Bridge”. And the Oxygen cylinders were gifted by Indian diaspora in Qatar.
COVID Care Centre at Bheemunipatnam
This 60-bed COVID Care Centre has been set up at INS Kalinga, Bheemunipatnam, by the Eastern Command of the Indian Navy. This care Centre has adequate facilities to treat COVID positive patients with moderate symptoms. And there will be three doctors and 10 nursing staff provided by the Community Health Centre to man the facility.
Besides transporting relief material from overseas the Eastern Naval Command has also set up a 50-bed COVID Care Centre at INS Eksila, Gajuwaka. This facility is taking care of the COVID positive Armed Forces Veterans and another 200-bed facility at the Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam. This is for the use of a large number of Defence Civilians.