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40 years of guarding Siachen

Updated on: 14 April,2024 06:00 AM IST  |  New Delhi
Agencies |

Under its “Operation Meghdoot”, the Indian Army established its full control over the glacier on April 13, 1984.

40 years of guarding Siachen

Indian Air Force aircraft fly past as Operation Meghdoot marks 40 years of the Indian Army’s presence in Siachen glacier. Pic/PTI

The induction of heavy-lift helicopters and logistic drones, deployment of all-terrain vehicles and laying of an extensive network of tracks are among a host of measures that have enhanced India’s combat prowess in Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, officials said on Saturday.

As the Indian Army marks the 40th year of its presence on the strategically-significant Siachen glacier, the officials said there have been extensive improvements in the operational capabilities of the force due to the enhancement of infrastructure in the region in the last few years. The Siachen glacier at the height of around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram mountain range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds. Under its “Operation Meghdoot”, the Indian Army established its full control over the glacier on April 13, 1984.

“The Indian Army’s control over the Siachen glacier has not only been a story of unparalleled valour and determination but also an incredible journey of technological advancements and logistical improvements that transformed it from one of the most formidable terrains into a symbol of indomitable spirit and innovation,” said an official. The initiatives, especially laid out in the last five years, have made significant strides in improving the living conditions and operational capabilities of the personnel deployed in Siachen, he said on the condition of anonymity.

In January last year, Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Army’s Corps of Engineers was posted at a frontline post in the Siachen glacier, in the first such operational deployment of a woman Army officer at a key battlefield. The official cited above said there has been a noteworthy improvement in the aspect of mobility in Siachen. “The development of an extensive network of tracks and the introduction of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) have significantly improved mobility across the glacier,” he said.

Another official said innovations like the DRDO-developed ATV bridges have enabled the Army to overcome natural obstacles, while high-quality “Dyneema” ropes in aerial cableways ensure seamless supply lines to even the most remote outposts. “The induction of heavy-lift helicopters and logistic drones has vastly improved the supply of essentials to the personnel deployed in posts that are cut off, especially in winters,” he said.

Feet makes the Karakoram mountain range the highest military zone in the world

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