Strengthening Frontiers: Indian Army Conducts  Biggest Airborne Exercise ‘Winged Raider’ In North-Eastern TheatreParachute Regiment Jawans of Indian Army (Representative image) (Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

More than 500 special forces troops were part of the Indian Army’s biggest airborne exercise called the ‘Winged Raider’ in the North-Eastern theatre, reports The Economic Times.

The exercise was conducted on 10 January which saw over 500 elite special forces parachuting from the C-130 Hercules and C-17 globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force along with the indigenous Dhruv helicopters during the day and night.

The army said in a statement on Thursday (16 January) said, “The newly inducted aerial platforms and equipment were validated with clockwork precision and seamless integration between the Indian Army and Indian Air Force in difficult terrain. Exercise Winged Raider demonstrated the operational readiness of our Paratroopers and Air Warriors to undertake airborne missions.”

To test its new war-fighting concept of Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) in mountain warfare, Indian army, in October last year, carried out Exercise ‘Him Vijay’ under the 17 Corps in Arunachal Pradesh.

The IBG comprises an integrated mix of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, signals and logistics. This restructure in combat tactics has been tested to meet emerging threat matrix and challenges in our Eastern Sector. Which is why forward air bases have been built to check any hostile intent.

Newly appointed Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane called the initial report of Him Vijay “encouraging'' and said that a lesson learnt was to work on better communications.

The army is gearing itself to act on any threat posed by China, which has formidable military resources and has been aggressively developing infrastructures in our Eastern Border. This is why such exercise is important to test our capability in rapid mobilisation of troops for quick deployment.

Also the Army is focused in capacity building and General Naravane has plans to continue building roads to forward areas, habitats, along with storage for ammunition and moving some of our advanced weapons system like air defence systems to eastern side. He also added that the army is “rebalancing” its deployments and resources on the western and northern fronts.

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