In a bid to counter a two-pronged threat from Pakistan and China at the world’s highest battlefield, the Army would start inducting soldiers at Siachen glacier with just four days for acclimatisation after winter.
The reduction in acclimatisation period from existing 11 days to just four days is an outcome of the joint research carried out by the Army and the DRDO since 2009. “We will be starting this (rapid induction) on the Manali axis road once it opens up (post winter). At present the total acclimatisation from Chandigarh to 14,000 feet is 11 days.
We will be reducing this to four days…We have already done the pilot study and we will be further assessing its efficacy… And if you reduce this, it is the need of the Army… it is the need of the hour that we are able to induct troops faster in case of war or peace,” Lt Gen (Dr) B K Chopra, DGAFMS, told The Indian Express.
Presently, the acclimatisation takes place in two stages of six and four days at Leh and at higher altitudes, respectively, before inducting at the glacier where heights range between 22,000- 2,4000 feet. The study on rapid acclimatisation was carried out by DRDO’s Delhi- based Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in collaboration with Army’s High Altitude Medical Research Centre and Leh-based 153 General Hospital has been under trials for over a year.