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IAF's 'Gagan Shakti' exercise from April 1-10, Army providing logistical support: Sources

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Air Force's 'Gagan Shakti' mega exercise is slated to be held over 10 days starting April 1, encompassing both western and northern fronts, sources said on Tuesday.

Fighter planes and helicopters taking off from different parts of the country will "engage pseudo targets" at Pokhran Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan during the massive exercise held every five years, the sources in the defence establishment said.

Ahead of 'Gagan Shakti 2024', the Indian Army has been involved in providing logistical support to the IAF in the true spirit of "achieving synergy in various domains", they said.

The exercise "encompassing both the western and northern fronts" is scheduled to be conducted from April 1-10, they said,

The Army has facilitated a "comprehensive pan-India move of approximately 10,000 IAF personnel" and ammunition to validate the Operational Rail Mobilisation Plan (ORMP) aspects of the IAF, the sources said.

"This involved formulation and facilitation of rail move plan from various clusters pan-India for onward and return journey as per an operational plan," the source added.

Various passenger trains - time-tabled and with all amenities, including, meals and bedding -0 have been provided by the Army at Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi and Kanpur.

They will move to various destinations across the length and breadth of the country within a span of three days with effect from March 25, they said.

These passenger trains have been named 'Sanyukta Express' trains to denote the inter-service camaraderie. Their return journeys have been planned in April, the sources in the defence establishment said.

Liaison and movement support is being ensured through Movement Control Organisations (MCOs) of the Indian Army. The MCOs en route have been tasked to monitor movement in coordination with "a control cell" established at the Army Headquarters, as is to be carried out during operations, the sources added.

Two ammunition trains are also being placed to supply ammunition from depots to the exercise areas. Various other movements of smaller strength of troops have been facilitated through the placement or attachment of railway coaches with express trains, they said.


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