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Special forces of Indian Army, Air Force carry out mega exercise in eastern sector

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The strategic forces of the Indian Army and the Air Force carried out a multi-domain exercise in strategically key areas in the Eastern sector amid the lingering border row in eastern Ladakh, people familiar with the matter have said.

The exercise was aimed at validating joint plans for strategic airlift of specialised forces employing IAF's fixed and rotary wing platforms by landing and dropping in designated areas for undertaking kinetic actions, they said on Thursday.

The exercise took place last week in the backdrop of Beijing announcing Chinese names for 11 more places in Arunachal Pradesh which the neighbouring country claims as southern part Tibet. India had rejected the Chinese move.

The drills were carried out in designated areas of Eastern theatre as per a tactical setting, and they showcased the operational preparedness and synergy of strategic forces and troops of Eastern Command to undertake multi-domain operations in high altitude and mountainous terrain, the people said.

"The exercise also demonstrated the speed, agility and lethality of the specialised troops showcasing their ability to rapidly deploy into a hostile environment, " said one of the people cited above.

"Such special operations exercises are a mix of conventional/unconventional military actions that are undertaken by specially designated, selected, trained and equipped units," the person said.

As part of the drills, the IAF's C17 Globemaster aircraft and Chinooks and Mi 17 choppers undertook multi-mode insertion operations into designated greenfield landing zones with surgical precision, the people said.

They said paratroopers from the Agra-based Shatrujeet Brigade conducted special heliborne operations with the aim of validating their ability to rapidly deploy into hostile environments using Chinooks and Mi17 helicopters.

The people said the exercise demonstrated speed, agility and lethality of the specialised troops showcasing their ability to rapidly deploy into a hostile environment, secure landing zones and engage the enemy with precision and speed as per the tactical setting.

"Overall the troops displayed exceptional professionalism, competence and synergy while operating in the treacherous mountainous terrain," said the person.

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