27th sept, 2018: IAF once again pulled off a daredevil rescue mission. Saving 119 lives from an inhospitable terrain in Himachal Pradesh.
On 27 Sep 18, in the afternoon hours, 153 HU was tasked to carry out HADR mission in Chamba valley between Chamba & Kilaar. Two aircraft were prepared & immediately launched f rom Air Force Station Udhampur.
The helipad was small and could accommodate only one aircraft at a time. On landing crew found 52 school children, age 9-10 yrs stranded without parents for last 10 days. Both the aircraft established an air bridge between Kilaar & Chamba, enroute crossing a Pass at 15000 feet to reach Kilaar. Kilaar itself is located at an elevation of 9500 feet.
Both aircraft were able to evacuate 37 children and 26 adults by sunset. The mission to rescue the stranded continued on 28 Sep 18, till all were rescued.
A total of 119 lives which included 52 children & 45 personnel of a medical team, were saved from two different locations. Once again, living up to its name, IAF Air warriors pulled out the stranded people from an inhospitable terrain.
26th sept, 2018: On 26th Sept late in the evening ‘Hovering Hawks’ were tasked to launch 02 aircraft at Sun rise. The Air Warriors worked through the night to ensure helicopters were ready for the HADR mission at first light.
Unit was pressed into the Flood Relief Ops in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. The Unit was given responsibility to search and rescue stranded people from Rohtang to Kunzum la, Chandra Taal, Bara lacha la, Jispa, Keylong and Sarchu.
In 24 sorties and 16 hrs of effort 13 people were rescued & brought to safety. These people were far from any help and stuck from last 4- 5 days. The aircraft made landings on rocks, vehicle tops and road bends with minimal clearances from terrain. The crew maintained highest degree of professionalism & executed the missions adhering to all flight safety aspects.
Few Truckers & Families which were stranded in heavy snow were rescued from Bara Lacha top in an extremely challenging situations.
The Air-Warriors took the challenge & completed the operations, saving 13 lives on 28 & 29 Sept 18.