Reviewing security along the Line of Actual Control and the preparedness of the armed forces deployed there, A K Antony became the first Indian defence minister to land at the Advanced Landing Ground of the Indian Air Force at Nyoma, which is close to the border with China.
Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and other senior defence ministry officials, besides Army and IAF officers based in Leh accompanied Antony.
Antony landed at Nyoma located at an elevation of over 13,300 feet in M-17 helicopter. It may be recalled that on September 18, 2009, an AN-32 aircraft had landed at Nyoma, the first winged aircraft to do so.
The Engineer Regiment of 14 Corps undertook the task of developing the ALG to the standards required for fixed wing operations.
An advanced compound was used to surface the airstrip and it marked the culmination of joint effort of armed forces to enable the Air Force to operate in the inhospitable terrain of Leh-Ladakh region in support of the Army.
Nyoma has been developed with an aim to connect the remote areas of Ladakh to the mainland.
Antony also made an aerial survey of Fukche and visited the Siachen Base camp to have a first-hand experience of the progress made to improve the living and operational requirements of forces.
He interacted with men and officers of the Army and the Air Force and sought their frank views on the situation.
Antony also interacted with a group of soldiers who had just returned from their deployment in the high-altitude areas. During the discussions personnel expressed that there is need to improve the quality of some of the accessories such as socks.
They also asked for increased number of snowmobiles for their operational requirements and requested that the telephone call rates should be reduced to facilitate communication with their family members.
Antony reviewed the security situation in both the eastern and western sectors of Jammu and Kashmir with the Army and the Air Force.
He was given a detailed briefing by Air Officer Commanding, Leh, Air Commodore Anil Tiwari and on the operations and by Air Officer Commanding, J and K, Air Vice Marshal J Chauhan on the future infrastructure development.
Antony was also given a detailed briefing on the security situation on the border by the GOC 14 Corps Lt General S K Singh.