SRINAGAR: With army losing 17 of its men in avalanches in Siachen glacier in the first three months of this year, Army chief General Dalbir Singh visited the world’s highest battlefield to boost the morale of the troops.
“Army chief General Dalbir Singh visited the Siachen glacier yesterday to review the situation,” Defence spokesman of Northern Command Colonel S D Goswami said.
Singh’s visit took place in the backdrop of recent instances of snow avalanches hitting the army posts and patrols in the world’s highest battlefield.
On March 25, an avalanche had hit an army patrol in Turtuk sector of Siachen killing two soldiers.
Goswami said the Army Chief visited the sites in Siachen, where the avalanches had hit the army causing casualties.
“He (General Dalbir) interacted with the soldiers serving at Siachen and commended them for their outstanding work in the difficult conditions at the glacier.
Another army official said the army chief told the army men that they are being provided best equipment and clothing to deal with the hostile weather conditions in the world’s highest battlefield.
He also assured the troops that all needs and requirements of the men are being taken care on.
“The army chief exhorted the soldiers to be careful to the avalanche threats and move cautiously,” the official said.
The soldiers deployed at Siachen glacier are provided special winter clothing including extreme cold climate clothing which includes trousers, jackets, gloves, sun glasses etc. to withstand extreme temperatures as per authorization.
Goswami said the Army Chief also separately met the porters, who work tirelessly to maintain the posts at those difficult conditions in Siachen.
The Army Chief was accompanied by Northern command chief Lt General D S Hooda and GOC of Leh based 14 Corps Lt General SK Patyal.
At least 17 soldiers have been killed in four avalanches in Siachen glacier in first three months of this year.
On March 25, avalanche hit army patrol in Turtuk in Siachen killing 2 soldiers.
Earlier, in mid March, an army man was killed and another rescued after their post was hit by an avalanche in Kargil sector.
In February, 10 soldiers were killed after the army post was hit by a massive snow avalanche in Siachen glacier.
In January, 4 army men were killed after their patrol was hit by an avalanche in the Siachen glacier.
In 2015, 9 army men were killed while 8 and 10 soldiers were killed in 2014 and 2013 respectively.