Kolkata: After the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also swung into action, putting its air assets on stand by to respond to disaster management operations in wake of Cyclone Fani in eastern parts of the country. It has deployed at least 15 aircrafts including 6 advanced light helicopters (ALH): Druv and Mi17-V5 choppers under the Eastern Air Command (EAC) which covers Odisha and West Bengal.
The number of aircrafts may be increased if needed, sources indicated. The IAF is also going to set up an operation centre in any of the two states as per requirement.
On Friday afternoon EAC spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said, "Headquarters (HQ) EAC has sized up the situation in conjunction with Air HQ. Six ALHs with winch for rescue work, five medium-lift helicopters for deploying the relief material and four AN 32 aircrafts have been kept ready with medical releif teams for ferrying relief material, medical help and National Disaster Response Force teams with equipment."
He added, "The helicopters have been kept ready at Bagdogra and Purnea for quick deployment in Odisha and West Bangal. In addition at Silchar Kumbhigram medium-lift helicopters have been kept stand by for the phase when the storm would start to effect the states of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. The operations centre would be established in either Odisha or West Bengal depending on the situatuon as it unfolds."
Wing Commander Singh mentioned, "The operations are being supervised by Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ EAC Air Marshal Sandeep Singh."...