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Indian Army's HAWS recovers bodies of fallen soldiers in daring operation; check details

The mission, known as Operation RTG (Rohit, Thakur, Gautam), was initiated to retrieve the bodies of three Havildar instructors who tragically lost their lives during a mountaineering expedition on Mount Kun in October 2023.

Indian Army's HAWS recovers bodies of fallen soldiers in daring operation; check details AJR
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First Published Jul 10, 2024, 1:34 PM IST

In a remarkable demonstration of bravery and solidarity, mountaineers from the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) have embarked on a daring mission to recover the remains of their fallen comrades in Ladakh's challenging terrain.

The mission, known as Operation RTG (Rohit, Thakur, Gautam), was initiated to retrieve the bodies of three Havildar instructors who tragically lost their lives during a mountaineering expedition on Mount Kun in October 2023. The team of 88 expert mountaineers, supported by specialized equipment and two standby helicopters, began their operation on June 18, 2024.

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Establishing a base camp at a height of 14,790 feet, with logistical support stationed 40 kilometers away, the rescue efforts were led by Brigadier SS Shekhawat, Deputy Commandant of HAWS. Maj Gen Bruce Fernandez, Commandant of HAWS, oversaw operations from the base camp, ensuring meticulous planning and coordination.

Despite treacherous conditions and extreme altitudes of 18,300 feet, the team persevered. They encountered their first breakthrough on July 4, 2024, when the remains of Havildar Rohit Kumar were located 30 feet deep within a crevasse. Over the following days, with unwavering determination, they recovered the remains of Havildar Thakur Bahadur Ale on July 7, 2024, and finally, on July 8, 2024, they successfully retrieved the remains of Naik Gautam Rajbanshi.

Each recovery was conducted with utmost respect and care, ensuring that the fallen soldiers were brought back with full military honors. The mortal remains were promptly transported to their respective families, providing closure to their loved ones who had anxiously awaited their return.

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The success of Operation RTG not only honors the sacrifices of the brave soldiers but also reflects the core values of the Indian Army and HAWS—dedication, camaraderie, and the unwavering commitment to leaving no comrade behind.

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