Visits follow reports of increased activities across the LAC in Tibet, including the laying of a railway track to Lyingchi near the border
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshall R.K.S. Bhadauria on Thursday concluded his two-day visit to air bases and advanced landing grounds (ALGs), mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, under the Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force.
His visit to the frontier States in the northeast was close on the heels of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat’s tour of forward air bases in Arunachal Pradesh on January 2-3.
The Shillong-headquartered Eastern Air Command’s Air Officer Commander-in-Chief Air Marshall Amit Dev too had inspected the forwarded bases and ALGs of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in December.
During his visit, the Air chief met Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier B.D. Mishra (retd.) and Chief Minister Pema Khandu to discuss national security and the safeguarding of the borders, besides assuring the IAF’s support to the State.
“The proposal to construct an ALG in Dirang (West Kameng district) and Anini (Dibang Valley, bordering Tibet) was also discussed with the Chief of Air Staff,” a spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s Office said on Thursday.
A Defence spokesperson said Gen. Rawat visited Arunachal Pradesh to mark a year of his appointment as the Chief of Defence Staff on January 1, 2000.
“He interacted with the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Special Frontier Force soldiers deployed at the air-maintained forward posts in Dibang Valley and Lohit sectors of Arunachal Pradesh,” the spokesperson added.
Prior to his visit, Air Marshall Dev toured the State to assess the “ongoing modern infrastructure development projects aimed at improving the combat potential of the bases” as well as ALGs.
There are eight ALGs in Arunachal Pradesh — one each at Vijayanagar, Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro, Along and Tawang. These were renovated and upgraded by 2019.
The frequent visits by the heads of armed forces to Arunachal Pradesh followed reports of increased activities in Tibet across the Line of Actual Control, including a railway track laid up to Lyingchi near the border with the State.
There has been a high alert and massive deployment of troops and equipment along the LAC following the stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh last year.
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