Air Force’s 24-Hour-Op To Rescue 192 Citizens From Crisis-Hit Sudan
In a tactical overnight operation, the Indian Air Force flew non-stop from the Hindon airbase near Delhi to Saudi Arabia on May 3 to rescue some of its last stranded citizens from violence-hit Sudan.
In a one-of-a-kind operation, the Air Force flew its C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft through the night to land in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and then via Sudan and back to India.
The objective of this rescue operation was to evacuate 192 stranded passengers, mostly women, children, elderly citizens and people who required urgent medical attention, foreign nationals and overseas citizens of India.
The passengers were denied landing permission in Jeddah, therefore they had to fly directly to India on a non-stop flight.
To carry out the challenging operation, the C-17 was refuelled in Jeddah to undertake a direct flight via Sudan and then back to India. The crew carried extra fuel to avoid a situation of no fuel in the crisis-hit nation.
The aircraft landed in Sudan and carried out an overhead tactical arrival – a flight manoeuvre, which was followed by an assault approach to land the heavy aircraft.
To ensure a quick exit from the airfield in war-torn Sudan, the engines of C-17 were kept running during the entire operation.
The pilots and the crew faced another emergency when one of the passengers became unconscious during the flight and had to administer 100 per cent medical Oxygen to stabilise him.
The aircraft landed in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on May 4 late in the evening and then back to its home base in Hindon near Delhi, therefore flying through extended duty periods for nearly 24 hours.
The operation is another testament to the air force’s capability to carry out tasks flawlessly. Last week, the Indian Air Force landed its C-130J heavy transport using night vision goggles to land on a runway in the dark to rescue 121 stranded Indians.
India launched ‘Operation Kaveri’ to evacuate stranded Indians in Sudan. The fighting in Sudan is part of the ongoing clashes between the country’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).