Rashmi Ranjan

India launched 'Operation Kaveri'  to rescue Indians stranded in Sudan, which has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and a paramilitary force. 

India positioned two transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah and naval ship INS Sumedha at Port Sudan as part of its contingency plans to evacuate the stranded Indians. 

Sans landing lights on the degraded airstrips of the violence-torn Sudan, it was a herculean tasks ahead of the IAF pilots to rescue the stranded Indians.  

However, IAF pilots, who are known for their extraordinary courage and valour, accomplished the task with ease and rescued 121 people from a small airstrip in Sudan.

According to TimesNow report, the IAF’s C-130J transport aircraft made a landing on the unprepared runway in the darkness in Wadi Sayyidna, which is around 40 km north of Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.

As per the report, the pilots of transport aircraft of Indian Air Force carried out landing at night using Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) as the airstrip was in a degraded condition. 

Besides, the runway had no navigational approach aids or landing lights which are essential to guide the pilot for safe landing of the aircraft.

Moreover, the crew members of the flight used their Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors to ensure the runway was obstructions free. 

"Upon landing, the aircraft engines were kept running while eight IAF Garud Commandos secured the passengers and their luggage into the aircraft. As with the landing, the take-off from the unlit runway was also carried out using NVGs,” the IAF said in a statement. 

“This approximately two-and-a-half-hour operation between Wadi Sayyidna and Jeddah will go down in the annals of IAF history for its sheer audacity and flawless execution - akin to that carried out in Kabul,” Principal Spokesperson, Ministry of Defence, Government of India,  A. Bharat Bhushan Babu tweeted.

So far, a total of 1,360 stranded Indians have been brought back to India from violence-hit Sundan under 'Operation Kaveri'.