The Indian Air Force’s inclusion of MIG 27 aircraft in a weeklong exercise at Chunapur base has enhanced the importance of an otherwise routine training.
The exercise is being conducted after eight years at the base. The unit, around 350km northeast of Patna, was constructed after the Sino-Indian war in 1962, while it was made operational two years later. Sources said the station was built to support Bagdogra air base in Bengal, 170km east of Purnea. The fighter aircraft has been included in this exercise for the first time.
In the exercises, officials will practice flying but no arms would be carried on the aircraft.
Station wing commander Nishant Sharma said: “We work in peace time so that we could not bleed during war time. We have included MIG 27 in the training for the first time. We embarked on the exercise after a hiatus of eight years, as this station was not a permanent training base. We want to make this base operational for training purpose.”
“However, in the past eight years, some work or the other was always taking place at this base. Before we began our exercise, we checked the runway. We also checked load-bearing capacity, bird strike analysis and others,” he said.
He added: “For bird strike analysis, we have conducted meetings with village heads and people’s representatives. We asked them to spread awareness on disposing garbage properly.”