Published 19:55 IST, May 8th 2024

Shielding India's Skies Since 1959, Eastern Air Command Evolving to Counter Modern Threats Along LAC

Positioned strategically near the LAC, Tezpur and other bases in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh serve as vital bastions of defense for India's eastern frontiers.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
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The Su-30s have demonstrated their versatility and effectiveness in various exercises and operations. | Image: X/@IAF_MCC

Assam: In response to escalating military developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tibet, India has heightened its surveillance efforts to closely monitor Chinese activities. The alertness of Indian security forces has surged following multiple instances of incursions by Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel into Indian territory, particularly in Leh on June 5, 2020, resulting in heightened bilateral tensions.  

India's heightened vigilance extends to Arunachal Pradesh, where China lays claim to Indian territory, specifically targeting Tawang as part of its claim over South Tibet, further exacerbating border tensions.  


Tezpur Air Force Station: A Strategic Bastion  

Tezpur Air Force Station in Assam emerges as a critical asset in India's defensive strategy, serving as home to the MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) and hosting the No. 2 Squadron IAF equipped with Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets.

This strategic positioning enables Tezpur Air Force Station and other bases in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to project India's airpower effectively, deterring potential threats from across the border. Strategically positioned at a distance of approximately 150 to 200 kilometres from the Line of Actual Control, airfields east of the chicken's neck serve as crucial bastions of defence for India's eastern frontiers. Tezpur emerges as the central nerve of this network of airfields, poised to swiftly respond to potential intrusions during times of peace. Beyond mere defence, meticulous contingency plans are in place, leveraging the strategic placement of these airfields to effectively counter any incursions into Indian territory.  


With limited ingress points available to hostile forces, any attempt to breach Indian borders entails significant challenges. The robust positioning of ground forces reinforces India's resolve to safeguard its territorial integrity, presenting a formidable obstacle to any aggressor seeking to encroach upon Indian soil.  

Eastern Air Command: Safeguarding India's Skies  

The Eastern Air Command (EAC) plays a pivotal role in securing India's airspace, overseeing air operations across a vast expanse spanning 12 states, including the northeastern region, thereby safeguarding India's borders and airspace.


Established in response to escalating tensions with China, the Eastern Air Command (EAC) traces its origins to December 1, 1959, when the No. 1 Operational Group was upgraded to a command status and renamed Eastern Air Command, initially headquartered at Ranikutir in Kolkata.  

Over time, the command expanded its operational capabilities, strategically relocating to Shillong, known as the 'Scotland of the East,' to better fulfil its mission of safeguarding India's eastern frontiers. 


19:55 IST, May 8th 2024