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Indian Army Chief flies in IAF's Apache attack helicopter in Ladakh

Indian Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande flew in an Apache attack helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) during Exercise 'Parvat Prahar' in eastern Ladakh. Photo: AGDPI/ Twitter

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande flew in an Apache attack helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the Ladakh sector on Sunday and was also briefed about its capabilities and roles, the IAF said.

"General Manoj Pande, #COAS flew in an #IAF Apache attack helicopter in the Ladakh sector, today. COAS was familiarised with the flying characteristics of the platform and briefed about its capabilities and roles. #Jointmanship #Integration #StrongerTogether," the IAF tweeted.

Gen. Manoj Pande is on a two-day Ladakh visit to carry out a comprehensive review of the overall security situation in eastern Ladakh after the Indian and Chinese militaries began disengaging from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area in the region.

The Army on Saturday said Gen. Pande witnessed the ‘Parvat Prahar’ exercise, besides interacting with the officers and troops deployed in the region. The exercise featured a display of operational capabilities by artillery guns and other key weapon systems.

The Army on Sunday tweeted about his visit to the headquarters of the Leh-based Fire and Fury Corps.

"General Manoj Pande #COAS visited Headquarters@firefurycorps and reviewed the operational preparedness. #COAS also interacted with the officers and staff at @firefurycorps and complimented them for their professionalism and dedication to duty," it said in a tweet.

Commander of the Fire and Fury Corps Lieutenant General Anindya Sengupta and other senior officials apprised Gen. Pande about the overall security situation, including the ongoing disengagement process in Patrolling Point 15, people familiar with the Army chief's visit had said on Saturday.

Gen. Pande's visit assumes significance as the Indian and Chinese armies announced on Thursday that they had begun to disengage from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area of eastern Ladakh, marking a significant forward movement in the stalled process to pull out troops from the remaining friction points in the region, where the two sides have been locked in a standoff for more than two years.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari had, during the 89th Air Force Day celebrations at the Hindon airbase last year, said the IAF's prompt actions in response to the developments in eastern Ladakh in 2020 were a testament to its combat readiness and that its capability-enhancement programme was aimed at achieving the desired results "swiftly and decisively" across domains.

Referring to the Tri-Services integration, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari had also "assured" the nation of the IAF's "unwavering commitment" towards delivering joint capability and generating integrated response options as a part of a coherent national strategy.

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