Full-fledged Airbase Along China Border In Ladakh To Come Up At Nyoma

14 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Leh: The first full-fledged Indian airbase along the Line of Actual Control with China in the strategically important Ladakh region will come up at Nyoma and presently land acquisition process is going on at fast pace. The airbase would go long way in building up and strengthening existing military infrastructure along the border with the hostile neighbour. Sources told EXCELSIOR that Indian Air Force has chosen Mudh area of Nyoma for construction of full-fledged fighter aircraft base, which would be the first ever along the Line of Actual Control with China. At present, the concerned authorities of the Army and Indian Air Force are engaged in land acquisition process. 'Soon after acquiring the required land, which is going on at fast pace, the Indian Air Force would start the construction work', they said, adding 'the construction of fighter aircraft base in Eastern Ladakh is part of Indian Air Force's efforts to build up military infrastructure along the border with China'. Stating that Nyoma is an important location for Army as well as Indian Air Force in the Eastern Ladakh, sources said, 'though an air strip exists in Nyoma but the same cannot be used for the landing of fighter planes and heavy transport aircrafts'. 'This airstrip, which overlooks a highway being used by the Chinese Army, was last used in 1960s and thereafter India stopped using it. Now, IAF wants to construct full-fledged airbase at this location by acquiring additional land', they added. Nyoma, which is located at a height of 13,000 feet, would be used to station fighter jets and provide logistical help to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Army, which patrol the Line of Actual Control, sources said, adding 'all types of aircrafts including fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft would be capable of being deployed and operated from Nyoma'. Moreover, an officer of the rank of Air Commodore would be commanding this full-fledged airbase. It is pertinent to mention here that Nyoma airbase would be lower in height than the Advanced Landing Ground at Daulat Beg Oldie, which is considered as one of the highest landing strips in the world. Stating that Nyoma airbase would strategically boost defense along the Line of Actual Control with China, sources said, 'this station would help in maintaining supplies and other logistics to the forces deployed to check nefarious designs of dragon'. This would be the fourth air force station in Ladakh region. At present, there are three stations-one each at Kargil, Leh and Thoise. The airbases at Kargil and Thoise are catering to the requirement of the forces deployed along the border with Pakistan. The Thoise airbase in Shyok valley is situated at an altitude of 10059 feet. 'The building of new infrastructure and strengthening of existing along the Line of Actual Control with China is of paramount importance keeping in view the aggressive attitude of neighboring country towards India', sources said, adding 'the frequent incursions by the Chinese Army into Indian side in Ladakh region particularly in Chumur and Demchok clearly indicates the dragon has not mended its ways'. 'On one side the Chinese Army is indulging in frequent incursions into Indian territory and on the other side it has objection to the inadvertent crossing of LAC by the cattle-heads of Ladakh people', sources said while disclosing that recently Chinese Army sent a threatening letter this side after some cattle heads went to their side. The threatening letter was sent to Indian side by fixing the same on the horn of an animal.