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IAF's 'Mighty Jets' carry relief to Pakistan
October 27, 2005 16:10 IST
The Nagpur-based Indian Air Force squadron - Mighty Jets - had the unique opportunity to transport relief material to quake-hit Pakistan as well as hurricane-hit United States.
In the first mission by an IAF aircraft to Pakistan since 1971 war, the Mighty Jets transported 25 tonnes of relief material to earthquake victims in Pakistan earlier this month.
"The No 44 squadron, with a wide-bodied Russian built transport aircraft IL-76 carried blankets, medicines and tents to Islamabad and to Katrina victims in the US, as part of relief operations by the Indian government", Group Captain Rajat Sharma, Commanding Officer of the squadron told reporters at the IAF base Thursday.
Sharma said an IL-76 Transport Aircraft under his command had left the country with 22 tonnes of relief material consisting of blankets, tarpaulines and personal hygiene kits to the US last month for victims of Katrina.
The base was shifted from Agra to Nagpur in 2003 and two IL-76 aircraft are positioned here.
The transport aircraft, also known as 'Gajraj', can carry 114 patients in an ambulance version with a capacity of 80 stretchers at a time. It can para drop amunitions, small vehicles or tanks with a total weight of 40 tonnes, he added.
Since its inception in 1961, it has successfully carried out several operations including, exercise Cope Thunder 2003 and 2004, Golden Eagle, Garuda and Disaster Relief Operation during the tsunami and to Srinagar when the valley was cut off.