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IAF conducts first exercise from civilian airfields

07 May 2019
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently operated nine combat and trainer aircraft from civilian airfields in eastern and northeastern India as part of an exercise aimed at augmenting the service’s ‘war-time preparedness’.

IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said the two-day, round-the-clock drill, which concluded on 2 May, was the first of its kind. It was conducted in Kolkata and Andal, in the state of West Bengal, and in Guwahati in the nearby state of Assam.

The manoeuvres featured six Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters and three BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers (AJTs).

“Our [the IAF’s] focus was more on the western front earlier, but we are now increasing our focus in the eastern region, since our eastern neighbours are increasing their capabilities,” said Air Commodore Sashank Mishra, head of the IAF base at Guwahati, in an apparent reference to China.

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