India celebrated the 38th birth anniversary of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan recently, the brave NSG commando who laid down his life fighting terrorists during the Mumbai attack 26/11. Him and countless other soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces leave their families and comforts behind in service of the Motherland. Add to that the rugged terrain and harsh climate and the task of protecting the border becomes extremely dangerous.
Despite these significant challenges, the Armed Force protects our borders, takes part in relief operations and devotes all its energies to the well being of the nation. This post covers some of the most difficult locations at which the Forces keeps the Tri Colour flying high.
The 50-mile Siachen glacier is the world's highest battlefield and has great symbolic importance. The soldiers fight altitude sickness, deadly temperature and avalanches on a regular basis to protect this territory from Pakistan. The temperature reaches -50 C and essentials have to be supplied through helicopters.
2: Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
This is the only locations with a Tri-Service Theater Command of the Indian Armed Force. It includes 15 ships of the Indian Navy, two navy sea bases, four air force and naval air bases and an army brigade. The forces are assigned the task of protecting the region from arms and narcotics smuggling, piracy as well as external security threats. Grave uncertainties surrounding China’s maritime intentions have prompted a singularly focused effort to beef up forces deployed in defence of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
3: Munabao, Rajasthan
The Rajasthan-West Pakistan frontier is about 1,040 kms long making it one of the longest Indo-Pak border. Munabao village is a border post located in Barmer district of Rajasthan. In the 1965 Indo-Pak war it was captured by the Pakistan forces, before being wrested by the Indian Army. The soldiers cope with shifting sand dunes, ridges, and strong wind.
The airfield in Tezpur was constructed in 1942 and has grown into one of the most active bases in North-East India. In the past, it has served as the base for Mig-21 fleet and is also utilised for pilot training purposes.
5:Farkhor Air Force Base, Tajikistan
India's first and only foreign military installation is located in Farkhor, Tajakistan. In 1996 Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) used this base for various geo-strategic purposes, including intelligence gathering. India is credited with restoring this airbase and also runs a hospital in the premises.
Located at 10,760 ft, it is the second coldest inhabited place in the world. This region was the epicentre of the 1999 Kargil war and 530 Indian soldiers lost their lives in Operation Vijay. Ever since, the Indian Army has increased men, machine and vigil of the region.
7: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang has a strong presence of the Indian Army. After the defeat to China in 1962 War, Tawang and surrounding areas have been a focus for both the countries. The Indo-China border is 37-km away from Tawang and the Army has build special installations to protect the soldiers against freezing temperatures.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan valiantly arranged for the evacuation of fellow Commander, Sunil Yadav, and went after the terrorists all by himself. His final words were, "Do not come up, I will handle them," according to NSG officials.
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