New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed Covid-related operations by the Indian Air Force (IAF), as he stressed on the need to increase the speed, scale and safety of operations in transporting oxygen tankers and other essential material.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria informed the Prime Minister that the IAF has ordered 24×7 readiness of the entire heavy lift fleet and substantial numbers of the medium lift fleets to operate in a hub and spoke model to rapidly meet all Covid related tasking across the country and overseas. Aircrew for all fleets have been augmented to ensure round the clock operations, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
IAF is carrying out sorties from within the country and abroad to supply oxygen tankers to different places to assist the civil administration in dealing with oxygen shortage for COVID-19 patients. IAF’s C-17 aircraft are engaged in the process as the country reels under record surge in daily corona cases and paucity of resources to deal with it.
During the meeting, PM also spoke about the need to ensure that the IAF personnel engaged in Covid related operations remain safe from infection. He also spoke about the need to ensure safety of all Covid related operations.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria informed PM the that IAF is deploying big as well as medium sized aircrafts to cover all terrains. He briefed the PM about a dedicated COVID Air Support Cell set up by the IAF to ensure faster co-ordination with different ministries and agencies to Covid related operations.
PM inquired about the health of IAF personnel and their families. Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria apprised him that near saturation vaccination coverage has been achieved in the IAF, PMO said.
He also informed the PM that hospitals under IAF have increased covid facilities and also allowing civilians wherever possible.
As per the details of these sorties provided by IAF, a C-17 aircraft is airlifting three oxygen tankers from Bangkok to Jamnagar. The task is in progress. Another C-17 aircraft airlifted one oxygen tanker from Agra to Ranchi. Another airlifting from Chandigarh to Ranchi is in progress.
A C-17 aircraft is airlifting two oxygen tankers from Indore to Raipur and Bhopal to Surat. A C-17 aircraft is airlifting one oxygen tanker from Hindon to Ranchi and another tanker is to be airlifted from Bhopal to Ranchi.
A C-17 aircraft is airlifting two oxygen tankers from Jodhpur to Jamnagar. A C-17 aircraft is airlifting four oxygen tankers from Indore to Jamnagar and Gwalior to Ranchi.
Meanwhile, two C-130 aircraft of Republic of Singapore Airforce landed at Air Force Station Panagarh with 256 oxygen cylinders. The operation involved contactless off loading flight planning and other ground operations, as per an official statement.