‘Flawless execution’, IAF pilots rescue 121 Indians using night vision goggles

In a daring operation, an Indian Air Force (IAF)’s C-130J aircraft rescued 121 personnel from a small airstrip at Wadi Seidna, which is about 40 km North of Khartoum, violence-hit Sudan, on the intervening night of April 27 and 28.

The convoy was led by the Indian Defence Attache who was in continuous touch with IAF authorities all along, till they reached the airstrip at Wadi Seidna, according to the news agency ANI.

The airstrip had a degraded surface, with no navigational approach, aids or fuel, and most critical or landing lights (that are required to guide an aircraft landing at night).

On approaching the airstrip, the aircrew used their Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors to ensure that the runway was free from any obstructions and no inimical forces were in the vicinity. After this, the aircrew carried out a tactical approach on Night Vision Goggles, on a practically dark night.

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.

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, it said. 

Among those rescued in the operation was a pregnant woman and the people who had no means to reach Port Sudan, it added. 

Under ‘Operation Kaveri’, another Indian Air Force C-130J flight on Friday took off from conflict-torn Sudan with 135 passengers onboard for Jeddah.

“Another IAF C-130J flight takes off from Port Sudan with 135 passengers onboard. This is the 11th batch of stranded Indians heading to Jeddah,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

The IAF C-130J flight on Friday morning evacuated the 10th batch of 135 Indian passengers from Port Sudan to Jeddah after the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to extend their ceasefire amid ongoing violence in the capital Khartoum and the western Darfur region.

Sudan is experiencing bloodshed as a result of clashes between the army and paramilitary forces. Even though there is a 72-hour ceasefire, there have been allegations of violence.

Fighting has erupted between soldiers loyal to Sudanese army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, paramilitary Rapid Support Soldiers (RSF) commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

Committed to ensuring that no Indian national is left behind in Sudan, India has deployed its military planes and warships in the war-torn country.


(With ANI inputs)

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