As part of ongoing exercise ‘GaganShakti-2018’, the Operational Commands of the IAF planned and executed Inter Valley Troop Transfer (IVTT) in coordination with affiliated Indian Army Commands. IVTT, a major Joint Operation, was conducted in the high hills of Northern and North-Eastern Sector. The aim of the exercise was to validate the capability of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army to quickly transfer and redeploy acclimatized troops, in the simulated objective area. These operations are conducted to reposition troops from one valley to another, to counter any evolving threat and to surprise or offensively exploit the weakness of the adversary.
In the mountainous terrain the movement of the troops from one valley to another is a challenging task. The redeployment of forces from one area of interest to another may at times take couple of days. IVTT operations help to reposition the desired forces within a couple of hours.
All the three commands of IAF conducted a company level exercise in their area of operations, in a time sensitive environment. This tactical transfer of troops not only validated Joint Operations between the IAF & the Indian Army, but also showcased the capability of the IAF to operationalise forward ALG’s by setting up communications and refueling facilities, and preparing aircraft operating surface. C-130 and AN-32 tactical transport aircraft and Mi-17 V5 / ALH helicopters are used for these missions. Owing to their versatile maneuvering capabilities, these platforms are most adaptable in an extremely demanding high altitude terrain.
The operations were meticulously planned by the planning staff and the aircrew executed the demanding and rigorous operations by flying in a coordinated manner, giving due importance to the flight safety. In addition to the aircrew, the maintenance and administrative personnel, worked relentlessly through day and night, to ensure smooth conduct of these high intensity operations.