An interesting first person account of a less remembered humanitarian mission to Jaffna in June 1987. The nitty gritties in planning and executing this “Bread Bombing” gives us an insight into how military missions are coordinated amongst different agencies.
1300 hrs, on 04th Jun 1987. The normally sedate HAL airport is buzzing with activity. It is lunch hour for most public sector employees. Even the Indian Oil bowsers along with their staff are out of view, busy with their lunch and totally unaware of how much depended on them. Five AN32s had landed without any prior notice, cloaked in secrecy. The level of secrecy kept the airport and its employees out of the information loop. After a hasty briefing under the wings of the AN 32, the EAGLE formation got airborne lead by Group Captain BK Sunder and Flight Lieutenant SR Swarup in the lead aircraft. On that sedate morning no one had any clue that history was in the making.