As part of the ongoing massive IAF exercise 'Gaganshakti-2018', the Indian Air Force conducted a Mass Casualty Air Evacuation Drill in the Northern sector. 88 Casualties were airlifted from Leh and taken to Chandigarh by C-17. The C-17 Globe Master Aircraft was converted for this role by fixing support structures for the stretchers, in the main cabin. An indigenously developed Patient Transfer Unit (PTU) capable of providing In-Flight Critical Care to patients was demonstrated during the exercise.
After landing at Chandigarh, these patients were evacuated to Command Hospital, Chandimandir. For swift transfer of the patients in ambulances to the Hospital, a green corridor was made in liaison with Chandigarh civil authorities.
With this demonstration the IAF has proven its flexibility and quick response in carrying out mass casualty evacuations. This capability will also be utilised by the IAF in case of Human Assistance & Disaster Relief operations near the incident locations by even landing on the designated highways.