Western Air Command to strengthen airbases in J&K

On the last day of the two-day commanders conference of the WAC, the 'sword arm' of the IAF, it was also decided to provide a robust air maintenance operations for the Army's Commands operating in the region under its control.The WAC has nearly 20 airbases in the region covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

It has in the last two years opened three strategically important Advanced Landing Grounds in Daulat Beg Oldi, Fuk Che and Nyoma in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir to provide quicker access to troops during emergencies.

It is also the lifeline for several lakh soldiers deployed in the high altitude areas of the region, carrying them to the forward areas, apart from supplying them fighting equipment, food and other essential items throughout the year.

The WAC commanders conference also debated issues regarding induction of new equipment and platforms, including the C-130J transport aircraft for Indian special forces that would be based in Hindan near Ghaziabad, Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems, Aerostats and critical radar systems for the hilly regions.

These apart, the two-day conference, inaugurated by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik yesterday, carried out a data-based review as well as focus on key issues such as Aviation and Maintenance Safety and Welfare of Air Warriors.

"The concept of operations of Western Air Command including those in support of three-affiliated Army Commands were also reviewed," a WAC officer said here.

With the underlying theme 'Enhancing Operational Capability of Western Air Command', the annual conference was addressed by its Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal N A K Browne, who asked the commanders to give highest priority to the air warriors' welfare and high morale.

Addressing the commanders, Browne said, "IAF is undergoing major modernisation process and WAC occupies a unique position in this transformation drive. The need of the hour is speedy operationalisation of newly-inducted equipment with a commitment to preserve and maintain what we already have to the highest possible standards."
He also recalled the successful completion of the recent WAC exercise, Gauntlet III, when excellent operational standards were achieved.

Browne also asked the commanders to keep operations as the main focus area of WAC for the year

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