Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday flagged-in the Indian Army Skiing Expedition, ARMEX-21, in New Delhi, stated a release issued PIB (Defence Wing).
The ARMEX-21 was conducted in the mountain ranges of the Himalayan region to promote the adventure activity in the country and the Indian Army, it stated.
It stated that the expedition was flagged off at Karakoram Pass in Ladakh on March 10 and culminated at Malari in Uttarakhand on July 6, covering a distance of 1,660 kms in 119 days. During the expedition, the team travelled through several passes of 5,000-6,500m, glaciers, valleys and rivers.
The team also interacted with the local population of the far-flung areas. It was able to gather detailed information about several hitherto uncharted areas along the international boundary and the hinterland, it added. Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh congratulated the team on the successful completion of the challenging expedition and lauded them for their courage and resilience. Terming the expedition as extraordinary, he said not only did the team completed a thrilling journey, but also conducted an operational recce of the region, it added.
The union minister commended the courage, dedication and spirit of the Armed Forces and expressed satisfaction that the safety and security of the country is in safe hands. He exuded confidence that the success of ARMEX-21 will inspire a new generation of adventurers across the nation, it added.
Sharing the team’s experiences of the journey, major AK Singh, the team leader said there were several occasions when their resolve was tested. One of the most difficult moments the team faced was while crossing Kalindi Khal in Garhwal. He said the team had to set camp at an altitude of 5,500m due to the white-out conditions. The team leader described the interaction with the civilian population residing in remote areas as a refreshing experience. Their simplicity and helping attitude was heart-warming, he said, adding that the expedition served to bring fringe populations closer and strengthened their faith in the Indian Army’s ability to reach out to them in case of need, it stated.
It further stated that the team members informed the union minister how they were able to cover long distances by use of skis. On one occasion, they covered 66 kms in a day while crossing the Lamkhaga Pass which was the longest distance covered by them in a single day during the entire expedition. Rajnath Singh also felicitated the team members of ARMEX-21 on the occasion. Chief of the Army Staff general MM Naravane and senior officers of the Indian Army were present during the flag in ceremony, it added.
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