IAF airlifts severely injured NHAI workers from Andaman to Kolkata within 6 hours

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On December 14, the Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted four NHAI workers who had suffered severe burn injuries in their line of duty at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Having received initial medical care at a local hospital, the casualties needed to be airlifted at the earliest to Kolkata for further specialist medical treatment and aid.
Air HQ acted swiftly and the raiding raptors, C130J (Super Hercules) unit of Indian Air Force was tasked for this mission. The unit comprised of state-of-the-art Hercules aircraft which is capable of quick launch and role modification in the air. The unit responded with utmost professionalism and launched one Hercules aircraft within 45 minutes of the call to undertake the mission.
Air HQ acted swiftly and the raiding raptors, C130J (Super Hercules) unit of Indian Air Force was tasked for this mission. (Image Courtesy: Indian Air Force)
 
The aircraft flew down to Port Blair negotiating deteriorating weather over Andaman and Nicobar Islands which was likely to widen into a cyclone, as reported. The aircraft carried out night landing at Port Blair airfield, not undertaken by civil airlines.
Hence, to make certain a quick reaction team for the mission, the air warriors didn’t turn off the engine of the aircraft and ensured to airlift all patients along with their attendants and expeditiously conveyed them to Kolkata.
Speaking about the mission, Wing Cdr Anupam Banerjee, Spokesperson – IAF said, “HADR (Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief) is a given role of IAF. The training in IAF ensures the crews are capable to handle and take-up challenging circumstances of HADR missions in hour of concerns.”
This Casualty Evacuation mission was completed within 5 hours and 45 minutes of the launch and IAF aircraft recovered back to AFS Arjan Singh, Panagarh, West Bengal, undertaking the entire mission nonstop without refuelling and igniting off the aircraft engines.
(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor to print and online publications)

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