Siachen News & Discussion

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sid » 05 Feb 2016 08:48

RIP brave souls

I hope this country realizes what we just lost, 10 brave men who gave their all to protect us and our frontiers.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kashi » 05 Feb 2016 09:21

Sad to hear this. Shat shat naman.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby disha » 05 Feb 2016 09:33

Tragic.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Vriksh » 05 Feb 2016 09:40

Salute to the Bravehearts, is there any way to reach out to the families of the martyrs and offer support in someway.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Gagan » 05 Feb 2016 16:31

Image

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 05 Feb 2016 17:30

I feel so small and inconsequential in front of these 10 jawans. May Bhagwan keep you close to Him.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby deejay » 05 Feb 2016 21:13

The disaster at Siachen is all too familiar to us helicopter pilots who have flown over the glacier. The scale of disaster may have varied but the pain is no less.

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/ive-rescued-jawans-at-siachen-you-never-forget-it-1273940?pfrom=home-opinion

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.

I have evacuated many casualties, serious and not so serious, but can never forget the haunting and helpless look of a strapping young Naga lad of around 20 odd years who was suffering from cerebral edema (in which water collects in the brain due to the effects of high altitude). Preparing to go back from Base Camp to Leh one afternoon, we were asked to go for an urgent cas evac (casualty evacuation) to a helipad called 'Golf.' Cas Evac requests override everything else and off we went to 'Golf.' As he was put in our Cheetah helicopter, I asked him above the din of the rotors, "Kaise ho (how are you feeling)?" With great effort, he moved his hand to give me a "thumbs up".

When we landed at Base Camp, a mere 15 minutes later, that handsome boy who could give our filmi heroes a run for their money, was lifeless. We had lost another hero for a national cause.

In the avalanche at Siachen this week, ten Indians in the prime of their youth would have just heard a rumble or a roar as the snow wall would have descended on them. They would have taken a crouching position to form a bubble of air, if possible, before the snow enveloped them. The helicopters would have been launched from Base Camp, or machines flying in the area would have been diverted to the avalanche site. As I see the photograph of the avalanche released by the Army, I can pinpoint the place, and feel the Cheetal (Cheetah helicopter re-engined with an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv engine that now equips the Helicopter Unit) pilot making the approach to the helipad.

There are three deep crevasses he flies over, his eyes glued to the landing site - the co-pilot calls out his speed over each crevasse, since these are the "speed markers" for a Glacier pilot! As he crosses the third one, one into which a helicopter had slid a few years ago (the crew were pulled out with ropes), he looks for the black jerry-cans placed on the ground to provide depth perception to a pilot by breaking the monotony of the sea of white ice.

The snow flies and envelopes the helicopter in a white bowl, but the pilot's eyes stay glued to the black jerry-can that he has picked up to maintain his orientation and prevent a disorientating white-out. The helicopter touches down and a blast of icy cold air hits the pilot as he opens the door and yells "kahan hai (where are you)?"

The helipad party would have pointed to the avalanche site, the Cheetal would have taken off and circled the area but to no avail - an avalanche covers everything in its wake. The pilots would have seen the rescue teams of jawans digging maniacally to get their comrades out, waiting only to catch their breath - at 19,000 feet, the oxygen content is just half of that at sea level. A few deep puffs from oxygen bottles, and then back to digging - alas, in this case, no one could be pulled out.

Once the jawans are found, the Cheetals would fly-in again, this time to bring back the mortal remains of their comrades in olive green. I can imagine what would be going through the minds of those pilots - they too would never forget the sight, as I can't of that young Naga Regiment boy in 1995.

Rest in peace braves! The nation can never - NEVER - repay your debt. But we all know that the scroll at the Base Camp Memorial typifies what you were and would continue to be:

"Quartered in snow, silent to remain.
When the bugle calls, they shall rise and march again."


(The author, a retired Air Vice Marshal, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.)

Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (retd.)

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sid » 05 Feb 2016 22:55

Thank you deejay for posting this article. I could feel a lump in my throat while reading following quote.

The helipad party would have pointed to the avalanche site, the Cheetal would have taken off and circled the area but to no avail - an avalanche covers everything in its wake. The pilots would have seen the rescue teams of jawans digging maniacally to get their comrades out, waiting only to catch their breath - at 19,000 feet, the oxygen content is just half of that at sea level. A few deep puffs from oxygen bottles, and then back to digging - alas, in this case, no one could be pulled out.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 06 Feb 2016 06:04

Search for soldiers’ bodies on in Siachen - Dinakar Peri, The Hindu
The efforts to locate the bodies of 10 soldiers buried in the Siachen glacier, after an avalanche, continued for the third day on Friday without much success.

Rough weather complicated the operations.

The Army on Friday released the names of the deceased soldiers of Madras Regiment. {Why didn't this report publish their names?}

Officials said their families were informed of the tragedy.

“The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. Dalbir Singh, has ordered deployment of additional resources, including radars, to reinforce rescue efforts. The massive rescue operations continue at the height of approximately 20,000 feet,” a senior Army officer said.

One Junior Commissioned Officer and nine soldiers were killed on Wednesday when large blocks of ice fell on their camp in the northern side of the glacier.

The Army officer said bad weather hindered operations. “Rescue teams are working at huge personal risk,” he said.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Hobbes » 06 Feb 2016 06:58

The casualty list (from Twitter):
Image

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 06 Feb 2016 08:01

Hobbes, thanks

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 07 Feb 2016 06:42

Siachen tragedy could trigger demilitarisation - Josy Joseph, The Hindu

The latest tragedy in Siachen could be an excuse for an all-out effort by both India and Pakistan to demilitarise the inhospitable glacier where India and Pakistan have sacrificed hundreds of soldiers over the last three decades.

In fact, some in the military establishment believe the death of 10 soldiers of Madras Regiment could be a trigger for New Delhi to convince Islamabad to go back to the negotiation tables, where a roadmap for demilitarising Siachen is already available.

One senior Army officer pointed out that the Pakistan too has a compelling reason to consider the demilitarisation of the glacier, where over 2,000 soldiers of both nations have died since 1984. He pointed out that after 140 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an avalanche in April 2012, the then Pakistan Army Chief, General Parvez Kayani, issued a statement favouring demilitarisation of the region. “The intense military deployment should be replaced with technological solutions that are verifiable,” the senior officer said. It is an opinion echoed in private by many within the security establishment, given the harsh realities of the glacier and the growing challenges of frequent avalanches.

“We have often come so close to finding a solution to the troop deployment, but somehow we never clinched it,” he added.

In June 1989, both sides announced that “there was agreement by both sides to work towards a comprehensive settlement, based on redeployment of forces to reduce the chance of conflict, avoidance of the use of force and the determination of future positions on the ground so as to conform with the Simla Agreement and to ensure durable peace in the Siachen area.”

Endorsed by Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Rajiv Gandhi in Islamabad, the declaration has been the basic spirit of the bilateral approach towards the Siachen conflict. But no government has shown the political courage to clinch the deal.

In 1992, the two sides held discussions that narrowed down differences. Since then, India has had an almost consistent set of proposals. The contours of the Indian proposal include delineation of the Line of Control north of NJ 9842, redeployment of troops on both sides to agreed positions after demarcating their existing positions, a zone of disengagement and a monitoring mechanism to maintain the peace.

Over the years, Pakistan has suggested that troops on both sides should withdraw to a point south of NJ 9842, to the pre-1972 Simla Agreement positions. However, it has been reluctant to authenticate ground positions.

Many reports have suggested that in 1992 the two sides had agreed on the Indian points but a final agreement was not signed.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 suggested that the world’s highest battlefield be converted into a “peace mountain” without the redrawing of boundaries. For the Narendra Modi government, in its effort to bring a new vigour to its engagement with Pakistan, demilitarisation of Siachen could be one of the low-hanging fruits to pluck. Otherwise, more soldiers will be killed by avalanches as the world battles rising temperatures and glaciers become more unpredictable.


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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 07 Feb 2016 07:59

^^ That was fast. It took only 2 days - not even waiting for the remains to be recovered, or the final rites performed. Shame on The Hindu.

This is what I had said 2 days ago:
arshyam wrote:And be ready for the aman-ki-(tam)asha brigade starting the peace park nonsense.

Nice try by The Hindu, this time trying to spin the narrative on the Army itself by quoting ONE unnamed officer, who incidentally makes his case by quoting the Paki army chief.

Another interesting thing is, this correspondent Josy Joseph is not The Hindu's defense correspondent, which is Dinaker Peri, who used to be an associate fellow at CLAWS and had even trekked to Siachen in 2015 as part of the civilian trekker program run by the Army. His report in The Hindu is here. I wonder if someone with a background including CLAWS will articulate such a line. And Mr Joseph's past articles have not been defence related till the Pathankot attack, post which he seems to have been anti-establishment. Prior to that, he seems to have written mostly about political stuff, including Kerji's antics, Chennai floods, etc. And the recent hit job on the DPSUs and HAL was under his byline, and now this. Is there something to this? I don't know, that's why I have posted links so more knowledgeable folks can comment. So TIFWIW.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 07 Feb 2016 08:10

Josy Joseph is a long time muck raker. He'll write what the editorial line demands, plain and simple.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby JE Menon » 07 Feb 2016 10:06

That article by Josy Joseph, probably began with a question to an army officer: Do you think the avalanche deaths might lead to could trigger demilitarisation talks? The answer, of course, would be yes it could. The rest is old hat.

Even that "army officer" could be a figment of his imagination, as he/she remains unnamed. This is not just unknown in the Indian journalistic community, but could well be prevalent, several journalists have told me.

This fellow has no journalistic integrity, and is taking a political line which will favour the Sino-Pak position - which is what we must expect from the Chindu. Don't click and promote, but more importantly don't buy that horrendous trash-liner of a newspaper.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sid » 07 Feb 2016 10:38

Well when ~130 Paki soldiers were killed during avalanche in Gayari sectors no one asked for their location to be abounded.

And ironically Pakis are no where near on the Siachin glaciers, so what are we demilitarizing in the first place?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 07 Feb 2016 13:12

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar rules out withdrawing troops from Siachen - IANS
Terming the recent death of 10 soldiers in an avalanche on the Siachen glacier "painful", Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday that withdrawing troops from the world's highest battlefield could not be a solution.

"This incident is painful to me personally, but the solution that is suggested is not a proper analysis," he said, referring to demands that Indian soldiers be withdrawn from the glacier.

Asked if the proposal to convert Siachen into a "peace mountain" still exists, the minister said: "The decision (on deploying troops) on Siachen is based on the security of the nation."

He said the loss of human lives on the Siachen had come down in recent years due to improved facilities.

"We have lost thousands of soldiers to get control (of the glacier)... The loss of life is less in the last few years," he told reporters on the sidelines of an International Maritime Conference here.

He said the incident had nothing to do with preparedness. "I don't find any loose ends. It's an avalanche... These are unpredictable in nature."

Parrikar said the search operation was on though there was little hope of survival of the soldiers.

"The hope of any survival is nil. They are covered in tonnes of ice," he said.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 07 Feb 2016 15:22

None of those 10 soldiers would have wanted India to leave Siachen. Vacating Bana Post will be a crime against India.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby uddu » 07 Feb 2016 16:22

Evicting Pakistanis out of POK is the solution.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby svenkat » 07 Feb 2016 19:33

Salute to the bravehearts :( :( .

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby johneeG » 07 Feb 2016 20:37

uddu wrote:Evicting Pakistanis out of POK is the solution.


Exactly. We are losing more men and spending more resources in defensive measures. If we use the same men and resources in offense, we would have it much more easy.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 07 Feb 2016 20:55

JE Menon wrote:Don't click and promote, but more importantly don't buy that horrendous trash-liner of a newspaper.

Agreed. I myself switched from the Hindu to the New Indian Express, and so far have found it a justified change. The NIE is not bad. Here's their take:

Express Exclusive: On Siachen, Death Lurks at Every Step - (as told to) Amit Upadhye, New Indian Express

Temperatures falling as low as -50 degrees, open patrolling lines where you could be in the direct line of a Pakistan Army sniper, the deep cracks on the ice sheets — death lurks at every step on Siachen glacier.

There is no good or bad weather at Siachen as it snows for most of the year. The temperature falls from -2 to -50 during peak winter and even then Army teams have to take up regular patrolling, create new lines and cook for themselves and unit members.

Today, despite the advent of technology, we are helpless in the face of nature. Avalanches cannot be predicted and military men cannot sit in their tents waiting for better weather conditions. {Shiv sir, please take note; his statement reflects what you had said earlier.}

It’s impossible to find bodies of soldiers who die in avalanches. Some of the avalanches that hit parts of Siachen bring a large quantity of ice and it’s possible the bodies rolled down and got stuck in crevasses.

On June 23, 1987, I was in a similar situation. The weather was getting worse and the enemy troops were gaining pace as the terrain which we were trying to scale was almost vertical. Some of the team members were tired and the oxygen in our cylinders was dwindling. The only thing that came to our rescue was the fact that four of my team members and I never stopped. Finally, I scaled the peak which the Indian Army named after me as ‘Bana Top’.

Before that we had multiple failures in scaling the peak but we did not give up. The top of this particular glacier gave a bird’s eye view of Indian posts and the walking lines of army patrolling parties, making it an important peak. We had to make sure enemy forces did not occupy it.

It’s considered an honour to serve at Siachen where, before 1984, Indian and Pakistani armies used to conduct only regular expeditions. Several people ask me if the Indian Army has made occupying the Siachen posts a prestige issue, ignoring the safety of our brave men. But I don’t think that view is right. If you leave your positions in Siachen, the Pakistan Army will occupy the posts in no time. We cannot lose control of these posts at any cost.

Men serve about three months on the glaciers but their training for the tough job begins much before. The Indian Army is capable and motivated enough to serve in such adverse conditions.

My Take | Bana Singh

Bana Singh is an honorary Captain of the Indian Army and a recipient of the Param Veer Chakra, the nation’s highest military award. Bana Top in Siachen is named after him. In 1987, he led the team that conquered the highest and most important peak in Siachen

Enough said.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 07 Feb 2016 21:34

Looking at the picture of the avalanche site, a thought struck me.

Where exactly was the post? In the shadow of the ridge which is now covered in the avalanche ice? If yes, what purpose will a post in this location have? If it was sited here, it was meant to be protected by the ridge. But for what purpose?

Unless, a small team of 2-3 soldiers were manning an OP on TOP of the ridge itself? Remember, we control the Saltoro Ridge.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby deejay » 07 Feb 2016 21:46

^^^ Incoming arty fire. As far as possible camps are located in mountain shadows.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 07 Feb 2016 22:42

With weather again taking a toll, this post by Jamwal earlier in 2014 becomes relevant..(The Rope saga)

viewtopic.php?p=1651881

I do feel many of the issues were sorted out, but maybe not. Certainly it was not the Mans body that was ice glued to the wedge in the crevice but his clothes. Would it not be possible to remove his clothing and harness him out. Sometimes in such rescue operations live brainstorming for ideas might work. An actual person at the rescue may be overwhelmed by fatigue, pressure. There must be a live feedback to a team at base that can also brainstorm solutions. I am thinking aloud here, but its highly possible that simple solutions can save lives at such critical times and lessen the psychological wounds if the worst has to happen.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 08 Feb 2016 20:01

rohitvats wrote:Looking at the picture of the avalanche site, a thought struck me.

Where exactly was the post? In the shadow of the ridge which is now covered in the avalanche ice? If yes, what purpose will a post in this location have? If it was sited here, it was meant to be protected by the ridge. But for what purpose?

Unless, a small team of 2-3 soldiers were manning an OP on TOP of the ridge itself? Remember, we control the Saltoro Ridge.

Per Gen Hasnain's latest article in Swarajya:
These helicopters deliver the initial stores and then ferry kerosene oil, men and other material between the hubs and the posts on the Saltoro Ridge where there have to be small detachments to receive the stores, oil, food and mail and send them ahead to the smaller posts through patrols.

It is on one such post near a helipad at the Saltoro that the ice wall has collapsed and come cascading down on the 10-man post which existed there for the purpose of receiving and distributing supplies.

Read in full: Siachen Tragedy: The Trauma Is Real, But It’s Vital To Our Interests - Swarajya

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2016 22:45

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/siachen ... d/16938170
Siachen tragedy: Body of one of 10 soldiers recovered -

Srinagar: The Indian Army on Monday recovered the body of one of the 10 soldiers who died in an avalanche in Siachen Glacier six days back and efforts to locate the mortal remains of the rest continue, defence spokesman said here. Army teams have been sifting through the huge mass of ice in the treacherous region, sometimes digging more than 30 feet to find the soldiers who are buried. "After intense and exhausting search operations, which has entered its sixth day, rescue parties have hit the Camp Site and recovered the mortal remains of one martyr," Srinagar-based Defence spokesman Lt Col N N Joshi said but did not identify him. A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Madras Regiment were buried after an avalanche hit their post at an altitude of 19,000 feet in the highest battlefield on earth. Joshi said a new camp has been established at the location to coordinate the rescue efforts as well as to continue vigil in the sensitive area. "Rescue teams are cutting through upto 30 feet of ice at multiple locations where our soldiers could be buried. Probable locations are identified by using specialised equipment which was inducted along with the rescue teams," he said. The spokesman said reports from the ground indicate the efforts are hampered by frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility apart from the effects of rarefied atmosphere in such high altitude. "The teams are working round the clock and observing all precautions since the unstable ice and snow in the region could trigger fresh avalanches. Rescue efforts will continue till all our soldiers are found," he added. -

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 08 Feb 2016 22:47

Image

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Baikul » 08 Feb 2016 23:14

^^ Good thought, but at the risk of sounding like a nitpick, I wonder if it would not be better to have an Indian meme to honour our Indian dead, and not the undoubtedly stirring imprint of American boys planting a flag on a Japanese Island.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 08 Feb 2016 23:28

I hope it's true, but some early news coming in of one survivor in the avalance. One soldier buried under 25 foot of snow may have made it!! Lets hope for confirmation.

Shiv Aroor: User Actions
Follow

Shiv AroorVerified account
‏@ShivAroor
Miracle! Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad survived 6 days under the Siachen avalanche. Condition critical. If you have faith, please pray.
Last edited by harbans on 08 Feb 2016 23:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby harbans » 08 Feb 2016 23:32

I hope this is true!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z0upwu ... e=youtu.be

[youtube]-Z0upwuEzo8&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 08 Feb 2016 23:42

rohitvats wrote:Where exactly was the post? In the shadow of the ridge which is now covered in the avalanche ice? If yes, what purpose will a post in this location have? If it was sited here, it was meant to be protected by the ridge. But for what purpose?

Unless, a small team of 2-3 soldiers were manning an OP on TOP of the ridge itself? Remember, we control the Saltoro Ridge.

As I had posted in the other thread, Sonam is a helipad for supply of posts on the ridgeline. It's not a post by itself. Unless a relatively flat outcrop is found on top of the mountain/ridge, helipads needs to be sited at lower slopes of the mountain/ridge where the terrain flattens out. That exposes it to avalanches from higher slopes.

As per IAF & IA, Sonam is the highest helipad in the world. It was the killing of Indian soldiers exposed at Sonam from Quaid Post that led to Op Rajiv in 1987

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 08 Feb 2016 23:44

Hobbes wrote:The casualty list (from Twitter):
Image


Shiv Aroor tweets:

#5 Lance Naik Hanumathappa was pulled out alive. He is in critical condition.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 09 Feb 2016 00:03

Rajat Pandit ‏@rajatpTOI 4m4 minutes ago
Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen DS Hooda:In ongoing rescue operation at Siachen, L-Naik K Hanamanthappa of 10 buried soldiers found alive

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 09 Feb 2016 00:09

some good news at least.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 09 Feb 2016 00:13

Yes, fingers crossed. Hope he pulls through.

TimesNow quoting the Northern Army commander, so it is official.

Image
Source: https://twitter.com/TimesNow/status/696776882927177728

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby member_28110 » 09 Feb 2016 03:23

Rescue video of Lance Naik Hanumathappa Koppad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z0upwuEzo8



Hats off to the endurance and heroic efforts of the rescue team!

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Gagan » 09 Feb 2016 04:05

Hats off
Pray !!!!!

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 09 Feb 2016 04:55

Let's pray for Lnace Naik Hanamanthappa.

Really, fantastic effort by the IA.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby member_28110 » 09 Feb 2016 05:02

Came across this farticle on Hindu about Siachen.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editori ... 210195.ece

Decided to chime in with this comment...doubt if it would be published.

".. because there is a critical mass of opinion in both India and Pakistan that neither can sacrifice, or put in harm’s way, so many lives on the inhospitable glacier"

Do you have any actual data to back that claim up or did you pull that out to from your behind? What is your definition of 'critical mass'? Is it the 5 or so people comprising of the esteemed 'editorial staff' of Hindu?

Indian Army sits on ALL dominating positions along the Saltoro ridge and the Pakistanis are nowhere near Siachen glacier. Why should we give up territory that's fully in our control? If you have a quarreling neighbor who's asking for part of YOUR property, will you give it to him in the name of 'Peace'? What guarantees can you give that Pakistan wont do Kargil redux the moment we step off the ridges? If that happens, will the esteemed 'editorial' team gear up and go fight in -40 deg Celcius temperatures to take our land back?


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