Tezpur, April 17: As part of the ongoing IAF exercise Gaganshakti-2018, in a joint operation, the IAF and Indian Army Parachute Brigade undertook a battalion-level airborne assault on the evening and night of April 14, in the desert sector. This assault included paradrop of 560 paratroopers, combat vehicles and GPS guided cargo platforms. The airborne force comprised six C-130J and seven An-32 aircraft launched from multiple IAF bases. The force was provided aerial surveillance by AWACS and protected by a flight of SU-30 Air Superiority Fighters. Airborne operations are a means of aerial insertion of troops, equipment or supplies directly into the battle zone.