Wednesday, March 02, 2022

IAF evacuation ops will continue round the clock

New Delhi: Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh said Wednesday the Indian Air Force (IAF), which has sent three C17 Globemaster transport aircraft to evacuate Indian nationals from the war-torn cities of Ukraine, will send as many aircraft needed to bring every citizen back. Singh also mentioned that there might be some delays, but the delivery of S400 air defence systems from Russia won’t be affected.

Singh said that the Air Force has the capacity to send up to four C17 flights every day, and each can accommodate up to 200 people. He mentioned that the flights that left on Wednesday had gone to Hungary, Romania and Poland. “The operations will continue round the clock. We have already launched operations early this morning till now, three aircraft have been launched,” he added.

He said the operation “is happening with full coordination of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Civil airlines were already going.” But to “increase the capacity,” of the evacuation efforts, he said the Air Force has also been involved. “We have to bring back all our students. We will bring them back. I am sure we will bring all our people back safely.”

He said C17, which is the largest aircraft in Air Force’s fleet, is being used primarily, and “it can go directly, it doesn’t have to make a stop anywhere.” He added some humanitarian aid is also being sent to Ukraine.

C17 is Air Force’s transport workhorse and was used to evacuate Indian citizens from Afghanistan last year after Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021.

As per the plan till now, 26 to 27 flights have been used, he said, including both commercial and Air Force aircraft, to bring back students and other Indians who are stuck in Ukraine. The initial phase of the evacuation operation can take four to five days.

Singh said after the initial rush, the number of people leaving the country starts trickling down. However, he said that the operations will continue till every citizen is brought back. Whether that is done using commercial or Indian Air Force’s aircraft is the government’s call, but the force will be ready if asked, he added.

02/03/22 Krishn Kaushik/Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment