Defense Forces asked to stay prepared for Cyclone Phailin

Indian Defense Forces have been asked to remain prepared to tackle any unforeseen situation in the wake of Cyclone Phailin. Defense Ministry has issued Directives to the three Services-Army, Air Force and the Navy to be in full readiness after it received requests from the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments for rescue and relief operations including the air support in the aftermath of the approaching Cyclone.

Two IAF IL-76 have been dispatched this morning with NDRF teams and equipment to Bhubneshwar. Other IAF assets are on stand-by at various bases including- Raipur, Nagpur, Jagdalpur, Barrackpore, Ranchi and Gwalior. IAF has committed two C130J Super Hercules aircraft, 18 helicopters, including Mi -17V5 and two AN-32s to the effort and the aircraft are already positioned to move at short notice. IAF is fully geared up to assist the state administration and has tasked its Eastern Air Command to coordinate the entire relief operation with a Task Force being positioned at Barrackpore.

Vishakhapatnam based Eastern Naval Command have kept multiple Indian Navy diving teams with inflatable rafts in standby mode at important locations which could be put into operations at short notices. Besides these, Navy has put some Chetak and UH-3H helicopters in standby for launching rescue and relief operations, if necessary. Disaster relief ships, as required, are also being kept by the Navy in readiness.

Army has moved its Command and control element to Bubneshwar under GOC Madhya Bharat (MB) Area. One Engineer column from Bagdogra and one Medical column from Gopalpur have started moving to Bhubneshwar. Infantry columns are also stand by at Barrackpore.

In response to MoD’s directive, Coast Guard Headquarters has sensitized State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha & West Bengal requesting them to issue appropriate advisory to fishermen, shipping & local community.

Coast Guard units in these three States have been kept on high alert so that they can respond to any search & rescue situation at sea and in coastal areas. Coast Guard is also in constant communication with other forces and civil administration for meeting any eventuality during/post cyclone. All Coast Guard Ships and Aircraft on Eastern seaboard are kept standby to render immediate assistance to state administration.