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With joint ‘Vayu Prahar’ exercise in eastern sector, Army & Air Force plan synergy in multi-domain operations

Conducted in '2nd week of March', the joint exercise included air-land operations in a nominated advance landing ground & 'contingency tasks' in challenging high-altitude terrain.

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New Delhi: As India & China remain in a stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Army and Air Force have conducted a 96-hour multi-domain air and land exercise, ‘Vayu Prahar’, in the eastern sector.

Sources in India’s defence and security establishment said the exercise was conducted in the second week of March. The main aim, they explained, was to formulate plans that can lead to synergy in multi-domain operations.

Essentially, multi-domain operations are used to coordinate activities across multiple branches of the military to achieve converging results.

“The conduct of Vayu Prahar exercise enabled coordination and rehearsal among various agencies for quick mobilisation, transportation and deployment of forces within a theatre which can be executed across theatres,” a source said.

The scope of the joint exercise included the “rapid mobilisation of a rapid reaction force from the hinterland”, according to the sources. This force was then tasked with air-land operations in a nominated advance landing ground (ALG).

After landing at the ALG, the rapid action force was responsible for carrying out “contingency tasks” in challenging high-altitude terrain, the sources added.

An ALG is usually a single landing strip for an aircraft, which in India is predominantly operated by the military forces.

While sources did not specify the exact location of the exercise and the ALG, there are seven-eight ALGs in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which lies in the eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

In December 2022, over 200 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army clashed with Indian soldiers in the Yangtse area of Arunachal’s Tawang district. The clash came amid rising reports of Chinese incursions and construction activity over the past few years near the eastern sector.

Further, the stand-off between India and China in the western sector of the LAC in eastern Ladakh is now in its third year. ThePrint had reported that after 17 rounds of talks at the corps commander-level, the stalemate over Depsang Plains continues. Further, talks are awaited for later this month.

(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)

Also read: How Arunachal is front & centre in Modi govt’s massive border infra push to counter China

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