Extending all out assistance to the nation in the fight against COVID-19, Indian Air Force (IAF) has been working tirelessly and leaving no stone untouched to cater to the needs of COVID-19 patients.
Ever since the second wave of COVID-19 surged in India, Indian Air Force (IAF) swung into action by carrying out sorties from various parts of the globe and across the nation to airlift oxygen containers, cylinders, essential medicines, equipment required for sustaining COVID hospitals to provide seamless support to India to combat the viral infection.
Continuing with air bridge efforts yesterday, IAF C-17 airlifted oxygen containers from several foreign nations including Singapore, Dubai & Bangkok.
Apart from airlifting from overseas countries, IAF also conducted multiple domestic flights to transport oxygen tankers and cylinders within the country. The airlift of oxygen containers for recharging at Bokaro, Durgapur & Jamnagar continued along with C-17s shuttles that flew to Ranchi, Surat, Jamnagar & Panagarh, including a ferry from Bangkok.
On Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that “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.”
Further giving details on ramping up operations in transporting oxygen, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said IAF has deployed big as well as medium sized aircrafts to cover all terrains. He also briefed about a dedicated COVID Air Support Cell being set up by the IAF to ensure faster coordination with different ministries and agencies to Covid related operations.
*IAF nursing the country back to health*
To boost distribution of the much-needed medical oxygen, IAF airlifted four empty oxygen tankers from Bangkok in Thailand to Gujarat’s Jamnagar on Wednesday.
Earlier, IAF airlifted nine cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai and Singapore and brought them to Panagarh.
Using its C-17 aircraft, IAF took eight oxygen tankers — two each from Agra, Hindon, Gwalior and Chandigarh — to Ranchi. Another C-17 aircraft ferried two oxygen tankers from Indore to Raipur and one oxygen tanker from Bhopal to Surat. Additionally, two oxygen tankers were transported by the IAF from Jodhpur to Jamnagar and one oxygen tanker from Indore to Jamnagar.
On Monday 26th April, IAF ferried six cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai & landed at the Panagarh Air Base, West Bengal. Within the country, the air force airlifted oxygen containers from Jaipur to Jamnagar Air base.
Further intensifying its efforts for Covid relief, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also started airlifting oxygen generation plants and containers to filling stations from different parts of the globe. Airlifting of 23 oxygen generation plants from Germany is on the cards, which will be deployed in static hospitals in Delhi and other states, where there is a shortage of oxygen.
On friday last week, IAF deployed two big transport aircraft – C-17 and IL-76 – to airlift oxygen tankers to the filling stations across the country to ramp up the distribution of oxygen cylinders. Two C-17 aircraft ferried two empty Linde cryogenic oxygen containers while the IL 76 airlifted one empty box container to Panagarh.
Before that, IAF airlifted medical personnel, and nursing staff to help the country battle the pandemic. Tasks undertaken include airlifted doctors and nursing staff from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi, and Vizag for setting up of a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Covid facility at Delhi Cantonment area. Previously, IAF had also airlifted oxygen containers of DRDO from Bengaluru for Covid facility in Delhi.
As the nation takes big strides in its fight to contain COVID-19, IAF has been reaffirming its commitment to meet all emerging needs in the best possible manner.