Service No : 2609858F
Place of birth : Kollam Dist (Kerala)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Lance Naik
Unit : 19 Madras
Arm/Regt : The Madras Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : February 3, 2016
Lance Naik Sudheesh B hailed from the Kollam district in Kerala and belonged to the 19 Madras Battalion of the well-known Madras Regiment. Before serving at Siachen, he also served in Jammu and Kashmir in ‘Operation Rakshak’. During his tenure, he was part of the intelligence collection team of the Unit and helped the Battalion carry out several operations successfully. He also served in ‘Operation Rhino’ in the North East and was part of the Quick Reaction Team of the Company. He also volunteered to serve in Rashtriya Rifles for two years. Besides being a committed soldier, Lance Naik Sudheesh was a keen sportsman and excelled in playing football.
Sonam Post Avalanche: 03 Feb 2016
During 2015-16, L Nk Sudheesh’s unit 19 Madras battalion was deployed in the Siachen area under the command of Col Um Bahadur Gurung. In Dec 2015, L Nk Sudheesh along with 9 other personnel was chosen to man the Sonam post, one of the highest-manned military posts in the world atop Saltoro Ridge. The post that overlooked Siachen Glacier to the east and Pakistani-occupied territories to the west was prone to devastating avalanches with extreme weather conditions. Besides L Nk Sudheesh, the other soldiers of the team included Sub Nagesha TT, Hav Elumalai, L Hav S Kumar, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, Sep Mahesha PN, Sep Ganesan G, Sep Rama Moorthy N, Sep Mushtaq Ahmed S, and Sep Sunil Suryawanshi. On the glacier, the soldiers contested an area where they had to deal with altitude sickness, high winds, frostbite and temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit). The rigorously trained soldiers needed to be highly skilled in survival and sustenance. Besides the enemy fire, the soldiers had to brave the most unforgiving weather accompanied frequently by sudden avalanches and landslides. One such monstrous avalanche struck Sonam post on the morning of 03 Feb 2016.
Formed by an enormous-sized block of snow fracturing away from the mountain, it buried the post up to 25 feet deep snow in a few seconds. Although the Army had a unit of the Snow Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in Jammu and Kashmir, with several observatories at various locations to issue warnings and alerts to the Army formations and units, it could not detect this avalanche and the cause also could not be known. L Nk Sudheesh and 9 other soldiers got trapped under 25 feet of snow at an altitude of 20,500 feet. A massive rescue operation was launched by the Army which continued for 6 days to locate and rescue the trapped soldiers. The rescue operations were carried out by specialized teams of the Army and the Air Force which were being coordinated from Leh and Udhampur. The teams of the Army and the Air Force undertook massive rescue operations under extreme weather conditions but could not save the life of this brave soldier. The nation will remain grateful to L Nk Sudheesh for his courage and supreme sacrifice.
L Nk Sudheesh is survived by his wife Smt Salumul P and a daughter.
Jai hind. Salute to the brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice