IAF conducts "Exercise Eklavya" to check operational preparedness

By Amit Shankar, Halwara (Ludhiana,Punjab), Sept 20: The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted "Exercise Eklavya" to check the marksmanship of its Western Air Command (WAC) crew.

The exercise was conducted at the Sidhwan Khas (SK) range here, which is one of its kind in air to ground range, wherein pilots get a chance to drop all kinds of weapons within the assigned domains of the range.

Talking to ANI, Group Captain Ajay Koul said: "An exercise like this helps pilots to hone their skills and achieve professionalism so that they can use it effectively in the future."

"It is a yearly event where, the basic issue is to check out the operational preparedness of the various bases, the operational preparedness of the pilots as well, as thereafter assessing how good they are in delivery of the weapons on the assigned target at the assigned time," he added.

Group Captain Koul, who monitored the entire exercise, said the pilots participating in the event get the ultimate thrill.

"Basically, once these kinds of exercises are done, an environment is created wherein as in you were to go into the enemy territory for which once the aircraft gets airborne. We have the air defence aircraft intercepting the particular aircraft that is to come here to deliver the weapon. So, in retaliation to these air defence aircraft, he (the pilot) has to take practical action, get away from those air defence aircraft and continue with his mission towards the objective. When he is reaching close to the objective, we are firing stimulated missiles at him and he has t still save his aircraft and own self with the weapon and finally deliver it on the assigned target at the right place and at the right time," said Group Captain Koul.

"The pilots get the ultimate thrill because for any pilot of the Indian Air Force once he is able to deliver his weapon on the assigned target at the right tie, he has actually achieved for what he has been trained and tasked," he added.

Group Captain Koul also assured the nation that the officers of the Indian Air Force are ready to face any challenges ahead.

"I give you the assurance that whatever weapons are going to be fired within these 25 metres and they have seen it for themselves. And to my country I assure you that it will be always closer to the pin than five metres and you can sleep tight," he said.

About 100 aircrafts took part in this exercise, including Mig-21, SU-30 MKI and Jaguars.

The Air Force Station, Halwara, has been actively involved in various joint operations' with the army. The Halwara airfield is one of the premier bases of the IAF.

--ANI (Posted on 20-09-2013)

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