JAMMU: Indian Air Force played a vital role in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand by ferrying electoral staff, security forces and EVMs to difficult terrains.
Several aircraft of the air force undertook more than 552 sorties in the two states to make the assembly elections a success, a defense spokesperson said.
"In Jammu and Kashmir, the helicopter fleet of the IAF undertook 250 sorties running in 160 hours. A total of 1246 passengers and 900 kg of load was ferried by the air forces," Udhampur based defense spokesman Col S D Goswami said.
"In Jharkhand, the air force made 302 sorties and flew for 156 hours. A total of 1073 passengers and 7100 kilogram of load was ferried by the air force," he said.
He said the fleet of helicopters comprising of Mi 17 V5, ALH and Cheetah were extensively used to ferry electoral staff, security forces and EVMs to far-flung areas in both the states.
He said in Jammu and Kashmir, helicopter operations involved operating from 25 helipads at altitudes varying from 6000 to 14000 Feet.
"In Jharkhand the operations involved flying over naxal-infested areas, and therefore fire from the ground was an obvious concern," Goswami said.
He said the Air Force is proud of its contribution in helping the government take forward the democratic process in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.