NEW DELHI: The Indian Army has rushed tanks, heavy weaponry and ammunition, apart from fuel, food and other essential winter supplies to high-altitude areas in eastern Ladakh, as it expects the stand-off with China to stretch through the winter months.
The troops have to maintain combat readiness through the treacherous winter of around four months, military sources said on Sunday.
According to sources, Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane, aided by a group of top commanders, has been personally involved in planning and overseeing the implementation of the mammoth exercise that began in mid-July and is nearing completion.
A significant number of T-90 and T-72 tanks, artillery guns and infantry combat vehicles were flown into various sensitive areas including Chushul and Demchock sectors as part of the logistics operation, the sources said.
The Army has also transported large quantities of clothes, tents, food items, communication equipment, fuel, heaters and other supplies to army personnel deployed at forward posts and mountain passes at the height of over 16,000 feet.
“By far it is the biggest logistics operation that has been implemented in Ladakh post Independence. Its scale is humongous,” a senior military official said.
To deal with any Chinese misadventure, India has deployed over three additional Army divisions in eastern Ladakh where the temperature fluctuates between minus five to minus 25 degrees Celsius from October to January.
The sources said India imported winter clothing and gear from a couple of countries in Europe and they have already been supplied to the troops in eastern Ladakh. Almost all transport aircraft and helicopters of the IAF were used to transport the essentials.