South Asia and Beyond

Thoise: India’s Northernmost Air Base Against The China-Pakistan Two Front Threat

'The Himalayan Frontier', Part X in our series of on-the-ground reports from Eastern Ladakh and Siachen.

Indian Air Force Station Thoise and its gravity for India’s deterrence against the Pakistan-China two-front threat is the focus of ‘The Himalayan Frontier’, Part X, our series of on-the-ground documentaries from Eastern Ladakh and Siachen. “Thoise lies in Shyok valley. It is a base at such a location that assets deployed can be useful for both fronts,” Air Commodore D.S. Handa, Air Officer Commanding, Indian Air Force (IAF) Station, Leh told us. In this episode, we film the Indian Air Force’s assets including the C-130, Il-76, Mi-17, ALH Rudra, Apache and, the Embraer at the strategically located base in Ladakh. The two IAF stations in Ladakh-Leh and Thoise are critical for the Indian Army’s deployment at the Siachen Glacier.

Critical IAF Bases in Ladakh

The Thoise Air Force Station is an essential part of the military’s deterrent all along the AGPL- the Actual Ground Position Line and the LOC- the Line of Control with Pakistan as well as along the LAC- the Line of Actual Control with China. Continuing our series on India’s Pakistan-China two-front threat, ‘The Himalayan Frontier’, our team of Amitabh P. Revi, Rohit Pandita, and Karan Marwaha also visits the ‘Siachen Healers’ of the Army Medical Corps’, who save lives and limbs in the sector. We make a trip to the Indian Army’s ‘Veer Marathas’ to watch an India cricket match. As a matter of fact, we also meet local schoolchildren, on their first trip outside Ladakh, thanks to the Indian Army’s Operation Sadhbhavna and an Indian Air Force Il-76.

Editor’s Note: This episode was aired on March 22, 2024. It hit 100,000 Views on March 23. It got 200,000+ views on March 26, 300,000+ on March 30 and 400.000+ views on April 19, 2024.

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The Himalayan Frontier Series

Other episodes in the series:

Firstly, an exclusive interview with the then Northern Army Commander, now Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen. Upendra Dwivedi. In Episode I, he tells StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin Gokhale that the “situation is stable but sensitive and not normal”. Secondly,the Indian Army Chief, General Manoj Pande speaks to Nitin Gokhale in an exclusive interview in Episode II. He points out that talks with China are continuing at both military and diplomatic levels. But also notes India is maintaining a robust posture along the LAC. Thirdly, Part III documents India’s Infra Thrust To Ladakh In Countering China & Pakistan in a ground report. Episode IV documents The Nimu-Padam-Darcha (NPD) Road: Critical Connectivity To The China-Pakistan Himalayan Fronts In Ladakh. Also, in Part V: The Director General of the Border Roads Organisation, Lt General Raghu Srinivasan speaks to us on the frozen Zanskar River ‘Chadar’ trail.

Additionally,  Episode VI is on The Indian Air Force & The China-Pakistan two-front Ladakh Threat. An interview with the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Leh, Air Commodore D.S.Handa. Part VII is an on-the-ground report on The Indian Air Force’s China Challenge In Ladakh And A Slice Of Tibet. In Episode VIII: The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhuri speaks exclusively to Nitin A. Gokhale. And, in Part IX, we document the Siachen Glacier—A Triangular Wedge In The Pakistan, China Threat At The World’s Third Pole.

Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.