Indian Air Force conducts mass casualty evacuation drill in Kolkata

As part of the ongoing Exercise Gaganshakti, Eastern Air Command (EAC) conducted a mass casualty air evacuation drill on Apr19, from Air Force Station Chabua in Assam to Netaji Subhash International Airport, Kolkata and further on to Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Alipore by road. About 45 'bedridden' patients arrived at Kolkata by two Antonov-32 aircraft that landed in the middle of the night. With the medical teams already waiting, the patients were offloaded and after preliminary procedures, swiftly transferred to the ambulances. The ambulances moved in a convoy to the Command Hospital through a 'Green Corridor', which had been prepared in coordination with Kolkata Police. Wing Commander SS Birdi added, "The distance of 25 km from the NSCBI Airport to Command Hospital, Alipore was covered in 40 minutes and the exercise went through as planned. Various high ranking officers of the IAF monitored the drill to ensure flawless conduct of the exercise. With this demonstration, the IAF has proven its flexibility and quick response in carrying out mass casualty evacuations. This capability could also be utilised by the IAF in case of humanitarian and disaster relief operations near the incident locations by landing on select roads or designated highways."