Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (retd.) (for Info only, not official)


Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (retd.)

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    ...The sad news of ten Army jawans being buried in an avalanche on the Siachen Glacier has once again highlighted the perils and challenges that the Indian Army has been resolutely facing for the past three decades in the highest battlefield of the world. This writer had the good fortune of supporting the first Army expedition to the Glacier in 1978, a full six years before Op Meghdoot was launched on 13 April 1984, and thereafter again in the mid-'90s while commanding the Siachen Pioneers helicopter unit at Leh. The Glacier had changed, and has continued to change literally every year, but what has not decreased one bit is the commitment of the Indian jawan towards protecting those most inhospitable mountains in the world, where not a blade of grass grows but what is our sacred land. An Army paltan (battalion) spends three months at a stretch on the Glacier after a very structured acclimatization process. The dangers are many, starting from a bone-jarring -40 degrees celsius to deep crevasses, and from serious medical problems due to the high altitude to avalanches that strike without warning. ...

    NDTV on Feb. 5, 2016, midnight