President of Republic of Korea, Mr Roh Moo-Hyun and his wife Mrs Roh Moo-Hyun being received by President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh at a ceremonial reception in New Delhi
Lt Gen J Bhardwaj, Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services pinning up Air Marshal P Bondopadhyay on the occasion of her elevation to the rank of Air Marshal. She is the first woman Air Marshal, the second highest rank in the Indian Air Force
Brig Rohit Kalia, Commandant, Artillery Centre presenting Director General of Artillery sailing championship trophy to Hav Ayaz Sheikh and Gnr Sheikh Ishak in a function at Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad
|The journal of India's Armed Forces published every fortnight on behalf of Ministry of Defence. It is not necessarily an organ for the expression of the Government's defence policy. The published items represent the views of respective writers and correspondents.|
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh called upon India’s defence strategists, top brass of the Armed Forces and policy planners to build a strong and modern armed force to meet emerging challenges to national security. Dr Singh was addressing the Combined Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi on October 26.
The Prime Minister referred to the complex strategic scenario of the country and underlined the need for understanding the imperatives of the increasingly unstable international environment. He expressed the hope that in the years ahead, India’s economic growth and its growing global linkages will be the basis for greater security, enhanced cooperative efforts and stable relations.
Dr Manmohan Singh observed that there has been a steady growth of non-conventional challenges in coming years. He said India has to enlarge its instrumentalities and capacities to respond to these. Stressing the need for a structure of cooperative and mutually beneficial relations with neighbours as a basic objective of policies, the Prime Minister added that India has to remain alert about aberrations, strategic ambitions and geo-political motivations in policies which can militate against its security and vital interests.
Referring to the modernisation of the Armed Forces, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to qualitatively upgrade the manpower base of the Armed Forces. He said the organizational dimensions of Defence need constant review and purposeful reform. Some specific steps have been taken in this direction. Dr Singh observed that reform also involved cognition of the fact that Navy, Air Force and the Army could no longer function in compartments with exclusive chains of command and operational plans. The Common Minimum Programme of the government has made a commitment regarding the modernisation of the Armed Forces and adequate resources have been provided in this year’s budget.
The Prime Minister said that the technological dimensions of security can not be divorced from the larger social milieu. There is a need for improved career prospects and better career management. The government has fulfilled its promise of establishing a separate Department for Ex-servicemen’s Welfare. However, there is a need for greater public awareness of the achievements and sacrifices made by India’s Armed Forces, Dr Singh observed.
Addressing the Commanders, the Defence Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee referred to major developments in the current world scenario and their implications on India’s defence preparedness. Regarding the proposal for an Integrated Defence Services Command structure, Mr Mukherjee underlined the need for further discussions to arrive at a broad political consensus.
Among others who addressed the conference were the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram and the External Affairs Minister, Mr Natwar Singh. Earlier, the Prime Minister, on his arrival, was received by Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy along with Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N C Vij and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash.
Indian Army’s modernisation has taken another step to fruition with a plan to set up Army Technology Centre at Headquarters Technical Group EME in New Delhi on October 15 last. The 61st raising day of Corps of EME also falls on this day. Laying the foundation-stone of a building for the centre, Gen NC Vij, Chief of the Army Staff, said that in today’s scenario, courage and fortitude, for an army, is not the only requirement. “Either we modernise or we perish”, he added. On the occasion, the concept-launch of two indigenously developed vehicles, Hunky and Tuffy, was done in the presence of Gen Vij. He also released a compendium of innovations developed by various units of field army.
With changing trends in guerilla warfare tactics used by insurgent groups it is necessary for the troops to contain a threat with multi-role armoured vehicles. For troops deployed in counter-insurgency and security operations in the Northern and North-Eastern commands, bullet and splinter-proof vehicles have become the need of the day. Keeping this in view, for the first time Corps of EME of the Indian Army has developed two bullet-proof vehicles that are also equipped with latest communication system, night vision devices and wide range of fire power.
Both Hunky and Tuffy are ergonomically designed air-conditioned vehicles to accommodate six and four-member crew respectively. While Hunky, the medium bullet-proof vehicle, has a protection against small arms, splinters and IEDs, Tuffy, the lighter version, has a Swedish bullet-proof shield against fire from a distance of 10 metres. Both of the vehicles have splinter-proof glasses in the windows and windscreens and have sliding firing ports for firing of personal weapons. A variety of weapons ranging from LMGs, MMGs and missiles can be fitted on a mount which has a 360 degree traverse on both the vehicles. Hunky, developed by 505 Army Base Workshop, Delhi Cantonment, can store provisions in sliding racks that operate with feather touch. The concept can surely give an added edge to the troops in tough terrain as versatility and comfort has been a key area of emphasis in developing these vehicles.
from New Delhi
Continuing its tradition of improvements based on the feedback from its esteemed readers, Sainik Samachar is soon starting a column carrying letters to the editor from the readers. Please send your reactions to any of our editions, in the form of short and pithy comments in English and address them to the Editor-in-Chief at the earliest. So what are you waiting for? Pick up the pen and share your views with the vast majority of our readers. What is more, a suitable reward also awaits the contribution that is selected as the “Letter of the Fortnight”.
Capt A Chambial
After years of restraint and efforts to de-escalate tension on borders failed to bring any result, the Indian Army adopted a proactive stance towards terrorism. It was a result of this proactive stance that the concept of punitive fire assaults came into being. These fire assaults are being used to deter both the terrorists, who are infiltrating into India, and the adversary which has been assisting their infiltration.
The terrorist breeding grounds, or the Jihad factories, have been working deep inside enemy territories. The students are brainwashed into becoming mujahideen or religious fighters. They are lured by promises of riches, if they survive, and jannat (Heaven) if they die. Thus the modern-day saviours of religion are born. After their religious indoctrination is complete, the promising candidates are given basic military training. At a suitable time, these trained terrorists cross the Line of Control with the help of guides.
After their training is over, the terrorists assemble at the launching bases, reaching there in ‘ones’ and ‘twos’. They are then organised into bigger groups of seven to ten terrorists. On the night of infiltration, these groups start early. This infiltration takes place on foot. Making good use of available cover and ground and by maintaining a high standard of field craft, they cross the Line of Control through the gaps in the Indian Army deployment. At times, the enemy artillery assists this infiltration by providing them covering fire. Their aim is to infiltrate as much behind forward defended localities (FDL) as possible. All this while, the novice terrorist is apprehensive but goes ahead. If there is a sufficient demotivating factor, he may quit even at this stage.
The common measures undertaken by Indian Army to check infiltration are patrolling, ambushes, laying mine-fields, ground sensors, observation of the Line of Control, raids on launching bases and fire assaults. All these measures have their inherent advantages and disadvantages and have been effective up to varying degrees in controlling the infiltration. We shall now overview the concept of fire assaults as an anti-infiltration measure.
What does fire assault mean? Assault in military parlance means a physical rush on to the enemy so as to overwhelm him by sheer speed, firepower and numbers. In a fire assault, there is no physical rush on to the enemy but he is overwhelmed by making use of heavy firepower of all available weapons ranging from assault rifles to artillery guns. During a fire assault, the volume of fire is very heavy and continues for the entire duration of assault without any respite. The aim is to create a shock effect and cause maximum possible attrition to the enemy. The fire assaults are carried out on targets like enemy’s forward defended localities assisting infiltration, any terrorist group that is detected during infiltration or any place close to the Line of Control on the enemy side where terrorist concentration has been detected. These fire assaults are planned well in advance. The ammunition required is gradually stocked up on forward defended localities. Artillery has all the data worked out. Proper co-ordination is done so as to ensure maximum firepower on the target simultaneously and cause maximum attrition. If the terrain permits, artillery guns are also used in direct firing role to destroy bunkers. By translating the concept of fire assaults into a practice, the Indian Army has made it very clear to adversary that it means business.
The fire assaults help in producing immediate but short-term results such as destruction of bunkers, casualties to hostile men and material and decline in the rate of infiltration. These fire assaults are more cost-effective in terms of man-hours. Now, lesser human effort is required to produce more results. The success, frequency and irregular patterns of such fire assaults impose caution among terrorists. If any infiltrating group gets killed in such fire assaults, the new recruits waiting for infiltration also get demotivated.
The effort put in planning and executing a fire assault is tremendous. However, the results achieved are not commensurate with this effort because the enemy’s forward defended localities absorb the fire assaults without getting sufficiently damaged. The casualties caused to the enemy are also very less. The concept of punitive fire assaults as a policy was initiated in 1996 but the dividends have not been very high. This concept helped the Indian Army in gaining short-term moral ascendancy over the enemy. As the novelty of the concept wore off, the tangible results also went down. The adversary devised his own ways to defeat this concept. As a means of deterrence to the infiltrating terrorists also, this concept had initial success in that the rate of infiltration did go down. Once the terrorists realised that these fire assaults, although intense, were for a short duration only and that they could always wait and let these finish, the infiltration level soared again.
India refuses to engage any non-military targets. In spite of confirmed terrorist concentrations near launching bases in civilian areas, Indian Army has never resorted to neutralising these targets keeping in mind the huge collateral damage that would be caused. Due to this, the deterrence value of these fire assaults has remained reasonably low.
Maximum damage to the enemy is done in the very beginning of a fire assault when some of the hostile troops are caught in the open. So, to increase the number of casualties of the adversary, the effectiveness of the first salvo fired should be very high. In order to get a better understanding of the effectiveness of this concept, the damage assessment capability should be increased. Aircraft reconnaissance, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite photos are some of the means that can be used for an improved damaged assessment. Road axes and bottlenecks as in Neelam Valley should be regularly interdicted to hinder terrorist movement as well as logistic build-up.
If some fear has to be created in the minds of terrorists and the civilians supporting them, India should take tough decisions. The Indian Army should cultivate more human sources of intelligence in enemy territory. This will help to improve its target selection and acquisition capability. The control of artillery fire on targets deep inside enemy territory should be done by airborne observation platforms such as Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
The fire assaults can be made more lethal by using fighter and bomber aircraft. However, it entails a big threat of escalation of situations into an all-out war. Before carrying out any fire assaults, the defences along the Line of Control should be improved so that they can sustain the retaliation by the enemy.
“I gave them no advice. The time for giving advice is gone. He (Gen NC Vij) has the responsibility. It is he who has to think. When I was Army Chief I didn’t take advice from anybody” Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw remarked when he was asked about his advice to Army during the conclave of the former Chiefs of the Army Staff. He was addressing to the media during cavalry review ceremony organised by the Indian Army in his honour. “I am probably the oldest and senior most Field Marshals in the world and I am delighted that Chief of Army Staff invited me here. Everything seems to me running well,” he added.
The two-day conclave concluded with a colourful cavalry review by 61 Cavalry where Gen N C Vij, Chief of the Army Staff and Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh took salute. The parade was reviewed by Field Marshal SHJF Manekshaw. The parade was witnessed by all the former chiefs and their wives. The wives of seven former chiefs of the Army who are no more were also present. All the former chiefs of Navy and Air Force residing in Delhi witnessed the parade and attended social function.
On the first day of the conclave, the former chiefs were briefed on the Army Welfare Housing Organisation, married accommodation projects, War Memorial, AV Singh Committee report, Ex-Servicemen Health Scheme, Army Welfare Education Scheme, Mission Olympics, UN peace-keeping and restructuring of Army Headquarters. On the second day, Military Operations Directorate briefed them on the current situation in J & K, North- East and the War Doctrine of the Army. Later, all the former chiefs were hosted by Defence Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee at his residence.
A cavalry review by 61 Cavalry regiment was held in Delhi in honour of Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw , as a part of the conclave of the former Chiefs of the Army Staff. After Independence, it was for the first time that a parade of such stature and magnitude was organised here. This event was hosted by Gen N C Vij , Chief of the Army Staff and Colonel of 61 Cavalry.
It was a full mounted ceremonial parade where about 250 horses and sowars displayed their skills in full ceremonial regalia. Col J S Virk, Commandant ,61 Cavalry commanded the parade. Seven former Army Chiefs and their wives, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh , serving and retired Deputy Chiefs and other senior officers of Army, Navy and Air Force were present on the occasion.
With the abolishment of the cavalry units of the state forces a “New Horse Cavalry Regiment” was raised in Jaipur in 1953 with Col Phulel Singh as its first Commandant. Later, Gwalior Lancers, Jodhpur Lancers/Kachhawa Horses, Mysore Lancers, B Squadron of 2nd Patiala Lancers and Saurashtra Horse Cavalry Squadron were amalgamated to form 61 Cavalry. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was instrumental in introducing equestrian activities as a subject in military training.
With a legacy drenched in valour and blood, the cenotaph at Teen Murti , New Delhi stands in mute testimony to the last cavalry mounted charge at Haifa during first World War. The regiment was deployed in Ganganagar Sector during 1965 war and operations Pawan, Rakshak, Vijay and Parakaram. The regiment has earned 39 battle honours , one Padma Shri and 10 Arjuna Awards in addition to several other service awards.
After the cavalry review ,the team of dare devils displayed sky -diving along with Army Aviation Corps.
from New Delhi
Indian peacekeeper guarding a forward helipad in Eritrea
Thirteen Kumaon was inducted into the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea (UNMEE) in July this year. It took over the central sector of Eritrea from 15 Sikh Light Infantry battalion. It will remain in the mission area till mid-August next year. The unit, which earned international fame at Rezang La in Ladakh during 1962 Indo-China war, continues to excel in its overseas mission area. Another noteworthy is the fact that a Kumaon Regiment officer, Maj Gen Rajender Singh, has recently taken over as the new Force Commander of UNMEE which is a matter of pride not only for the Kumaon Regiment but also for the Indian Army and the nation.
The central sector of Eritrea is the most difficult sector of UNMEE. This sector comprises rugged hills and mountains, some of them as high as 9000 feet. The temperature here rises upto 68° Celsius in summer. With the battalion headquarters alongwith one company located at Adigrat in Ethiopia, the rest of the battalion occupies various forward posts within and outside the temporary security zone (TSZ) running all along the central sector of the Ethiopia—Eritrea border. This is perhaps the only case in the history of UN peacekeeping where a battalion headquarters is operating from a different country while its troops are deployed in another country.
The local Eritreans are in praise of the intimate medical support provided by Indian troops.
Generally, two medical officers, one dental officer, one veterinary officer and ten para-medical staff form part of the team carrying out health care in these camps. Often the veterinary officer goes independently with his team to provide veterinary cover in far flung areas.
Clear potable drinking water is the most scarce commodity in the mission area. Therefore, the unit has opened up its water point to the local residents. On an average 450,000 litres of water is being provided to the local civilians every month. The unit’s integral engineering resources are also well-utilised for the development of basic infrastructure in its area of responsibility. Projects like improvement of roads and tracks, construction of new complexes, repair of schools and playing fields, filling of drains and potholes and plantation of trees are being taken up in a big way. It is also organising computer training for the local residents.
The Kumaon Regiment provides a Force Reserve Company (FRC) to cater to various operational, administrative and ceremonial requirements of the UNMEE Force Headquarters (FHQ) which is located at Asmara, capital of Eritrea. The Force Reserve Company, represented by the ‘C’ or ‘Rezang La’ company, is co-located with the FHQ. It is independent of INDBATT and comes directly under FHQ. Within 48 hours of arrival in the mission area, the company was launched for a search-and-rescue mission in aid of a missing International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) representative who was washed away in a flash flood. The company is earmarked to carry out such humanitarian tasks set by FHQ in various contingencies. It also provides personnel for escort duties and ceremonial guards. It had its moment of glory when it was asked to present a guard of honour to the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan.
The company continues to live up to its reputation by bagging various sports trophies including the UNMEE cross-country and basketball trophies while it figured second in 42-kilometre relay marathon.
–Col Anil Shorey
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy has commended the following officers, airmen, NCs (E) and civilians for their outstanding performance and devotion to duty on the eve of Air Force Day-04.
Sant Prasad Yadav, Rebati Ramana Nanda, Ardhendu Dass, Mukesh Kumar Thakur, Devi Prasad Pani, Prabal Kumar Singh, Kalarickal Puttur Unnikrishnan Nair, Subroto Bandopadhyay, Naresh Kumar Sharma, Raman Kapoor, Sunil Kumar Malik, Anil Sharma, Roy Thomas, R Chandra Bhanu, Raju Mohan Kumar, Rabindra Nath Chatterjee, Narayan Nair Sarath Babu, Arif Ullah Khan, Girish Chandra, Peush Kumar Agarwal, Sanjeev Kapoor, Dinesh Asthana, Ravindra Chandra Panda, Makarand Ranade, Ajoy Kumar Mishra
Kantipudi Suresh Babu, Ramasamy Samidurai, Vinod Malik, Gulbag Singh Padda, Mahesh Wasdev, Rakesh Raturi, Swaran Singh, N Kanitkar, KS Suresh Kumar, Rajagopalan Lakshmi Narayanan, Kirti Khajuria, Sanjeev Dargar, Hilal Ahmed Rather, Jagadeesh Bhikaji Rane, Manish Girdhar, Tarun Chaudhry, Kolal Krishnamurthy Venugopal, Bhagawat, Pankajakshan Sanjeev Nair, Maitheen Masthan Mohamed Faizal Kabeer, Asit Sexena, Nand Kumar Nair, Akhil Deep Sachdeva, Rahul Agarwal, Utpal Kundu, Jaibir Singh Lohokna, Nonavinakere Anantharamu Badrinath, Ashutosh Srivastava, Sandeep Bhatele, Arun Prasad Kashyap, Arun Tripathi, Anwar Khan Sheffi, Jitender Singh Sihmar, Sanjay Kumar Gaur, Gurpreet Singh Cheema, Chandra Kumar Rasyara, Sanjay Kundu, Ganesan Ponmurugan, Indranil Banerjee, Arijit Ray, Shamsher Singh Dalal, Jitendra Nirmal Kumar Baradia, Som Nath Biswas, Prashant Kumar Gupta, Alok Srivastava, Jake Jeyamohan Jacob.
Sanjeev Sharma, Kamatchi Manoharan, Pradeep Sharma, Vikram Govind, Vijay Singh Shokeen, Radhey Raman Shukla, RS Chauhan, Raja Govinda Hegde, Nishikant Singh, Ajay Kumar, Shivanand, Vyankatesh Narayan Mahindrakar, Abhijeet Arvind Chendke, Abhay Arun Phansalkar, Amit Bhasin, Jaywant Kumar, Prem Anand.
Debraj Sanyal, Harkirat Singh.
Jetha Ram, Narendra Dev Singh, Richhpal Singh Randhawa, Surjeet Singh Badwal, Lal Chand Yadav, Hare Ram Ram, Hari Singh Mutti, Mohammad Abdul Motleb, Tiruvarur Sundaram Krishnan.
Panna Lal Singh, Jarnail Singh, Madho Singh Campawat, Ram Swaroop Yadav, Satya Pal Sharma, Virandra Singh Verma, Kapil Deo Yadava, Krishnan Sarup Gupta, Krishna Chandra Sahu, Murala Subhas Chandra Bose, Chhaju Singh Jairath, Dharampal Singh, Jaibir Singh, Braj Kishor Prasad Verma, Suryakant Jayantilal Bharucha, Bal Vidhya Dhar Mishra, Jayaraj Ramakrishna Pillai, Ramashanker Singh Yadav, Kirpal Singh, Mahipal Singh Vaswan, Bindhya Chal Thakur, Dayashankar Harinath Pasi, AS Biju.
Chellappan Sadasivan, Raghavan Radhakrishnan Nair, Dasharath Prasad, Shafimohammad, Ompal Singh, Mansukhlal Ravji Bhai Parmar, Prithvi Singh Tanwar, Narendra Barman, Shakil Ahmad, Parbodh Chander, Johari Lal, Mahendra Nath Mahata, Gour Chandra Roy, Nahar Singh Attri, Anandakrishnan Mele Chirakkil, Shyam Sunder Sharma, Radhey Shyam Verma, Laxman Nath Nayak, Himmat Singh, Shambhu Nath Singh, Muneer Ahmad, Sunil Kumar Singh, Tej Narain Mandal, Ved Pal Singh Panwar, Man Singh, Rajiv Kumar Deswal, Ashok Kumar Singh, Vinod Kumar Verma, Radheyshyam Gautam, Lal Bahadur Singh, Pradeep Baburao Jadhav, Angom Lenin Meitei.
Bhanwar Lal Choudhary, Deb Dulal Nanda, Indra Mohan Basumatary, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Ajmer Singh, Prafulla Narayan Jha, Ashok Kumar Pandey, Shri Ram Khroliya, Bikash Mutsuddi, Harpal Sharma, KS Ayyappan, Swapan Kumar Das, Narindra Singh, Kapindra Prasad, Jasiram, Manoranjan Mishra, Nirakar Jena, Ramalingam Venkatesan, Velayudhan Sukumaran Anil Kumar, Karan Veer Singh, Gopalan Madapurakkal, Sajjanrao S Bawari, Shantanu Mohapatra, Ravindran Chemmincheri Meethale Veedu, Balwan Malik, Arun Kumar Singh, Ashim Kumar Mukherjee, Laxmi Kant Sharma, Sourav Mukherjee, Cherukattu Mohamaed Abdul Rahman, Rajeev Pandey, Manoj Kumar Singh, Sisir Kumar Hota, Ravindra Kumar Naliwal, Swapan Hazra, Suresh Kumar Khatry, Dadisetty Venkata Varaha Raghupathi Raju, S Pattabi Raman, Sanjay Gunge, Anil Kumar Sengar, Rajesh Tukaram Tandale, Sushil Singh, Kanwar Singh, Manoj Kumar Jha
Pannalal Nandi, V Sunil Kumar Nair, Yogendra Kumar, Phool Chand Chauhan, Santosh Kumar Singh Chauhan, Devinder Singh, Shashi Bhushan Kumar, Mendu Leela Prasad, Suresh Kumar M, Pramod Kumar Pandey, William Singh, Chandrakanta Mishra, Birendra Singh, Naveen Kumar Sandiri, Mahaboob Jani Sayyad.
Kishan Lal, Mukesh, Bishan Singh Pundir, Mani Kantan Nair Madothil Veeda, Shersingh Parihar, Jang Bahadur Singh, Gopal Chettri, Syed Mansoor Miya.
Shri MS Kasana, Shri Rajeev Kumar, Shri Anil Kumar Singh, Shri Abhiroop J Palaparampil, Shri Tilak Raj, Shri Ramesh Kumar Meena, Shri Chandrashekhar Vasudevrao Mahale, Shri Sasi Nair, Shri Sharad Kumar Agarwal, Shri Mohan Roy, Shri Koothan Sankaran, Shri Kotheri Samuel Joy, Shri Ramesh Parmar, Shri Prakash Chand.
Vijay Sharma, Sujay Ghosh, Yogendra Mohan, Nitesh Kumar Malik.
Vinay Sadasivan, Babu Lal Jangid.
Shiv Chandra Prasad Singh.
Chief of Bangladesh Navy Rear Admiral Shah Iqbal Mujtaba being presented a guard of honour at South Block lawns
Naval Chief of Bangladesh with Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee at South Block
The Chief of Naval Staff of Bangladesh Navy, Rear Admiral Shah Iqbal Mujtaba visited India recently. He called on his counterpart, Admiral Arun Prakash on October 12. On arrival at the South Block, he was presented an impressive guard of honour. During the discussions with Admiral Arun Prakash, he expressed appreciation for support being given by the Indian Navy to train Bangladesh naval personnel in India.
Admiral Arun Prakash emphasised the need for more frequent navy-to-navy interaction to build mutual confidence and trust. The possibility of conducting bilateral exercises between the two navies was also discussed.
Admiral Mujtaba also called on Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee. This was the first visit by any Naval Chief of Bangladesh since 1998.
pix: Om Prakash &
Headquarters Maintenance Command was formed on January 26, 1955 at Chakeri, Kanpur with the objectives of providing repair/overhaul facility for various aircraft fleet and other systems of the Indian Air Force and logistic support to all operational units. Gp Capt Harjinder Singh, the then senior-most technical officer of IAF was appointed as the Commander of this command. All Base Repair Depots, Equipment Depots and other establishments consisting of eleven units at that time were placed under this command. It was a small but decisive beginning.
The growing importance of this command necessitated a more centralised location. Maharashtra Government stepped in and provided land in the aesthetically beautiful Seminary Hills at Nagpur. A new township, named Vayusena Nagar, was set up and Headquarters Maintenance Command shifted to Nagpur in 1963. Vayusena Nagar is an elevated suburb of Nagpur at a distance of about 10 kms from Nagpur railway station. Since then, Maintenance Command has grown in size with its units spread throughout the length and breadth of the country. The command entered into its golden jubilee year this January.
With the proliferation of equipment in Air Force, the responsibilities of the command also increased. The command undertakes major repair and periodic overhauling of all aircraft (except those manufactured by HAL), ground environment systems, equipment including SAGW missiles and Air Defence Radars in the inventory of IAF. It also takes care of bulk storage and delivery up to field formations of all IAF equipment and spare parts.
Development and incorporation of major modifications, fabrication of support equipment and indigenisation of essential spares which are not readily available through normal sources is also one of the major responsibilities of the command.
Indigenisation of spares for aircraft, missiles, air defence radars, aircraft support vehicles and ground support systems is another area of responsibility of this Golden Command.
–Sqn Ldr Anil Ingley
Chief of the Army Staff, Gen NC Vij felicitating Mr Navin Gulia
Nothing is impossible in this world. All that one needs is a strong will and positive attitude. “Even physical disability does not come in the way of realising one’s dreams”, says Mr Navin Gulia, an ex-gentleman cadet of Indian Military Academy. Mr Gulia, a 100 per cent physically challenged person, surprised everybody by driving 1200 kms in the most inhospitable terrain in the Himalayas.
Mr Gulia, in his specially designed Tata Safari, commenced his expedition from India Gate in New Delhi. He reached Marsmik La in Ladakh in two days. During this journey, he passed through seven highest passes of the world. His upper limbs fingers do not work and his legs are completely paralysed. In spite of all these physical handicaps, he completed the journey hands down. He managed to control the steering only with his palms. He met Chief of the Army Staff, Gen NC Vij on his return journey. The Army Chief commended Mr Gulia and said that he has proved to the world that disability does not prevent a person from leading a full life. Mr Gulia’s feat found a mention in the Limca Book of Records.
Son of a retired Army officer, Mr Gulia, 31, was forced to leave Indian Military Academy due to a fall during training which caused him permanent disability. Like a brave soldier he never allowed his disability to become a hindrance in his intellectual and adventurous pursuits. Sitting on a wheel-chair, he worked hard to overcome his physical disability. At the same time, he pursued academics and completed his post-graduation in computers. He was a special computer Instructor at the Academy for three years. He is an expert in mathematics also. He has been teaching mathematics to senior level students.
At present, Mr Gulia is a member of the War Wounded Foundation (WWF), an NGO, working for the benefit of disabled soldiers and war widows. The COAS is the ex-officio Patron-in-Chief of this Foundation. Former Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen V Oberoi (Retd) is the President of the WWF and Maj Gen I Cordozo is the Vice President. Both these senior officers are also war wounded.
from New Delhi
Sainik Samachar is a multi-lingual publication, the pilot edition of which is prepared in English language. Our highly esteemed contributors are requested to:
A Coast Guard helicopter on a rescue mission
Coast Guard demonstrated its capabilities in anti-piracy, rescue and anti-pollution operations off Chennai coast. Vice Admiral Arun Kumar Singh, Director General, Coast Guard witnessed the manoeuvres on board CGS Sarang.
input: V Sankaran
Lt Gen Ranjit Singh, Director General, Border Roads visited Project Dantak in Bhutan. During the visit he inspected the ongoing works in Western Bhutan. He inaugurated an 18 metre long bridge Gasekha Zam-I constructed under the project. The DGBR inspected more than 250 kms of roads in Bhutan.
Lt Gen Ranjit Singh also met the King of Bhutan who expressed happiness with the contributions that Project Dantak had made towards the development of vital infrastructure in the state. He said that Dantak was an important partner in Bhutan’s development. Lt Gen Ranjit Singh also met the Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army, Goongloen, Lt Gen Lam Dorji and the Minister for Works and Human Settlement, Mr Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji.
Mr Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji conveyed that his ministry appreciated the support of Border Roads Organisation in strengthening and maintaining Bhutan’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure. “With the ministry mandated to complete several major projects in the Ninth Plan, we are very happy to have our long-time partner, Dantak, to support us”, he remarked.
Later, the DGBR addressed a GREF sammelan attended by all ranks of the Border Roads Organisation serving in Bhutan wherein he complimented all personnel of Project Dantak for their excellent work. He exhorted them not to rest on the past glory but continue with their efforts to achieve the utmost. He called upon them to ensure that the work executed by them is qualitatively excellent, technically perfect and economically cost effective.
Mrs Hardeep Ranjit Singh, Chair-person, Border Roads Organisation Wives Welfare Association (BROWWA), who accompanied the General Officer, met the families of all ranks and casual labourers and inquired about their welfare.
input: Lt Col AK Pandey
AIR WAVES FOR ARMED FORCES
You must be interested in knowing what Broadcasting Section, Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence carries for you.
Tune to Sainiko Ke Liye on Delhi ‘B’, All India Radio between 1815 hrs and 1855 hrs every day on the frequencies: MW450.5 Metre Band (666 KHz) and SW61.73 Metre Band (107.1 MHz)
In addition to special programmes on special events, following items are the regular features:
On November 17, a special item on the occasion of the Raising Day of the Corps of Engineers.
The Territorial Army (TA) is a localily recruited organisation which acts as a second line of defence, a standing army volunteer reserve. In peace time, a "Territorial" usually trains at weekends.But in the event of war or in an emergency, the part-time soldier is very much the whole-time soldier.
After the 1962 war, when a large number of TA units were converted into regular army units a with the proliferation of para-military forces, the concept of part-time soldiering has not only been neglected but, if one may say, lost. Also, the strength of the TA remained as low as 40,000 for more than four decades. In view of this situation, it is worth taking a fresh look at the concept of part-time soldiering.
Most countries have been giving serious thought to reducing expenditure on the second large standing armies, which are uneconomical during peace. The need felt immediately after World War was that a country should have a well-equipped, highly mobile regular army, backed up by a volunteer citizens' force which can be mobilised at short notice.
In India, time and again attention has been drawn to the exorbitant cost of manpower in the defence services. Today, fifty per cent of the defence budget is accounted for personnel-related costs. Pensions account for another twelve per cent, anticipated to reach twentyfour per cent in the coming years. Will India be able to afford it?
Most countries have some sort of national service. This has also been proposed in India, even though TA was designed to fulfill this very role. A "Territorial" costs the exchequer much less than a regular serviceman. Further, with diverse employment opportunities and higher educational standards, today's youth is reluctant to take up a full-time career in military. Territorial Army is in a position to fulfill the anticipated manpower shortage, particularly in the officer cadre. The TA can tackle various contingencies. Though primarily meant for those engaged in a civil vocation, it can also absorb unemployed in special circumstances. The focal point is voluntary enroloment through departmental units. A new entrant in the Railways has to give an undertaking that he will be available to serve for seven to twelve years. The non-departmental units are the infantry battalions for which personnel between the ages of 18 and 42 years can volunteer. These cater for urban and rural requirments. The urban units are trained during weekends throughout the year, the rural are trained for two months in a year.
All TA units have a nucleus staff from the regular Army. So they have an Army culture which enables them to fit in smoothly in the Army formatioons whenever need arises. Except for the Railways and the Ecological units, all units are commanded by the regular officers. TA non-departmental units are available as immediate reserves to replace or support regular units. Retired Army personnel can also join TA, ifthey are within the age limit. This can be extended if necessary. The scope in the non-departmental units can be widened so that, in addition to the infantry, all types of combat units like armour, artillery and signals can be raised to relieve the regular units in an emergency. The main reason for not expanding combat TA units is the concern that our international borders must be gaurded at al times; that military formations must be readily available on push-button basis to deal with the enemy; that TA will not be able to get mobilised in time and that sufficient volunteers are not forthcoming. But in the age of satellite reconnaissance and electronic gadgets, the days of the second World War type of surprise attacks are over. TA units may be mobilised as soon as the clouds of war are imminent. TA units must be employed within or just outside their states because a TA unit from West Bengal or Orissa will not get mobilised quickly if it is to be send to Srinagar or Ludhiana. TA units should not be kept embodied for long periods for their employers may not be able to spare them unless there is an emergency. This way we can avoid delays in the mobilisation of TA units.
As regards inadequate volunteers,bureaucrats, politicians and eminent citizens should set an example by jointing Territorial Army. On the other hand, Army should experiment by involving TA units in its brigades and divisions for operational tasks at front-line. It is believed that the TA battalions sent with the IPKF to Sri, Lanka acquitted themselves with credit.
The primary purpose of such forces all over the world is to support the regular forces. Themethods of doing so, however, vary. Australia utilises its TA personnel as UN Observers for assisting civilian authorities and even fill vacancies in the regular forces. The American National Guard comes under the respective State Governors who can call on them for preserving law and order, protecting and promoting general welfare and public health.In an emergency, the US President can order such units to move out on duty under Federal Orders without consulting the Governors. American National Guard units participated in the Korean War to supplement the regulars and, more recently, in the first Gulf War in 1990. These are now engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Britain, the first TA unit is believed to have been raised in 1537 and the force's strength expanded to nearly two lakh during the second World War II. Israel's defences are, of course, another story. Their reserves must get mobilised within 24-48 hours.
We, in India, should consider the utilisation of TA in four distinct areas. Support to regular army in frontline tasks,tasks in the rear areas on the second line, specific purposes like protection of airfields and security installations and ecological resforation. The Governors of states should be emplowered to mobilise TA units located in their states in situaions of deteriorating law and order. This way, each state's involvement in tackling law and order situations will increase.
The organisation of each type of unit would vary. TA units for frontline tasks would need to have the same organisation and weapons as the regular army. Units for secondline tasks could probably do with their present organisation and specialised weapons. It is worth reiterating that the present infrastructure and regulations of TA are sound and, in fact, far ahead of times. With the help of existing Territorial Army Act, the necessary political will and slight modification in regulations, India can atilise TA for an endless number of tasks.
A frequently asked question is why should Defence Forces take upon themselves the tasks of civic action when the entire civil machinery is in place? The answer is quite simple: our men-in-uniform are as much conscious to contribute towards nation-building as their civilian compartriots.
Defence Forces have a ready array of resources at their disposal; human resources being the most trusted of them. This spine never gives in when countrymen face any disaster. It provides support in desperation and solace in distress. The angel-like image of the personnel of Armed Forces owes much to their peerless tradition of discipline and dedication. Their endeavours to heal the scars of earthquake in Gujarat, floods in Assam, Bihar and Orissa and more recently the landslides at Mao earned them a repute of Samaritans who are always in demand. However, this helping hand is not restricted to calamities only; it extends to causes ranging from blood donation to ecological rehabilitation.
Apart from the routine help rendered to civilians, Armed Forces contribute towards developing certain projects of public utility as demanded by the local people. The seeds of any military-civic action project undertaken by Armed Forces originate in remote villages and not in Defence headquarters. These military centres are responsible only to scrutinise and sanction a project. There also exists a misconception, in certain quarters, that civic action tasks are undertaken only in insurgency-prone areas. The fact is that such projects are taken care of everywhere in the country.
In North-East, the Assam Rifles has been an integral part of the Naga society. All the district headquarters and significant townships have developed around Assam Rifles battalions. The integration is so complete that they are almost inter dependent. The Assam Rifles posts have always been looked after by local residents in difficult times.
Sharing tarpaulin during harvest and water in the dry season, treating sick men and livestock and celebrating Christmas together have become intimate practices over the ages.
It is not that Defence personnel reach out to people in need only. They know their responsibilities towards the development of youth. The dearth of information and guidelines has affected the growth of the Naga youth as a potential force. Therefore, youth awareness campaigns have been designed to help them qualifying for different examinations. The endeavour of Assam Rifles has paid rich dividends. More than one thousand youth are getting recruited now in Armed Forces and para-military forces every year. The bondage of faith between Defence Force and Naga people yielded commissioning of many young boys and girls from Nagaland like Lt Kenguruse, a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra.
A covered shelter for spectators has been constructed by 19 Rajput (Bikaner) at the football ground of village P Moulding in Senapti district in Manipur. The construction was completed under the aegis of Red Shield Division with the help of the local residents. Similarly, a waiting shed has been constructed by the villagers of Chinmang with the help of 19 Rajput. In addition, water supply schemes, drainage systems and construction of community halls have also been completed in the area.
Right on the heels of constructing an environment-friendly school at Tambis in Saur Valley, Army, under operation Sadbhavana, has successfully initiated the women of Khachan village in shawl-making, a step which would ultimately empower women towards self-reliance. The project began last year when twelve girls were sent to Nurpur, Pathankot for learning the art of shawl-weaving. This small step by these girls who never stayed alone outside their homes was a giant leap forward for the women of Kargil.
Medical and veterinary camps are the most regular events organised to strengthen civil-military relations. To provide much-needed relief to the villagers of Ukhrul district in Manipur, 19 Assam Rifles conducted a medical camp at Leishi near Shakpao recently. Furious while engaged with enemy, our men-in-uniform are full of “milk of kindness” on home fronts.
–Lt Col MK Pal with
inputs from Maj SD Goswami and
Lt Col RK Sen
ARMY AVIATION CORPS CELEBRATES 18TH ANNIVERSARY ON NOVEMBER 1
Army Aviation Corps was raised on November 1, 1986 as a separate and distinct combat arm. The corps traces its history to 1945 when the first Air Observation Post (AOP) Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF), 659 Squadron, landed in India. From the nucleus of this squadron, the first flight of the AOP was raised.
Air Observation Post formed a part of the Indian Air Force even though the aviators were drawn entirely from the Regiment of Artillery. Air Observation Post flights have a distinguished record both in peace and war. The gallant aviators of AOP distinguished themselves during operations in J&K in 1947-48, Hyderabad Action in 1948, Liberation of Goa in 1960, Sino-Indian conflict in 1962 and the Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971. The corps added further laurels during operations Pawan, Meghdoot, Rhino, Vijay and Parakram and in many other sectors in close and direct support of ground forces.
The corps works equally hard in peacetime, providing logistical support round the year to highly remote locations. Besides, air evacuation and aerial recce are other important peacetime activities of the corps.
Over the years, aviators of the corps have earned several gallantry awards. These number more than 150, which is exceptional for a corps which is so small. The major awards are: 2 Mahavir Chakra, 1 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, 16 Vir Chakra, 11 Shaurya Chakra, 64 Sena Medals and 4 Vayu Sena Medals.
The corps has successfully made the transition from simple fixed wing aircraft to modern helicopters. Presently, the corps is equipped with Chetak, Cheetah and advance light helicopters and is now on the threshold of a major expansion.
The corps is today poised for exponential growth and expansion. Plans are on the anvil to replace the faithful Chetak and Cheetah helicopters with ultra-modern machines. The corps is also inducting attack helicopters and modern medium-lift helicopters to enhance its operational effectiveness.
input: Lt Col SV Pandya
INS Kalinga, an establishment of Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Visakhapatnam has been selected for Vruksha Mitra Kannam Srinivasa Rao Award for 2003-04. The award was given by a Charitable Trust founded in the memory of late Kannam Srinivasa Rao, an eminent environmentalist.
Kalinga was selected for its dedicated effort in maintaining a clean environment and transforming the barren land full of sand dunes into a verdant green area. The contribution of the unit towards conservation of soil has also been immense. The award committee also appreciated the drive undertaken by the establishment to plant about 5350 saplings in the premises of the station.
Admiral Arun Prakash, Chief of Naval Staff reviewing the parade
at Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam
Admiral Arun Prakash, Chief of Naval Staff accompanied by Mrs Kumkum Prakash, President, Naval Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) visited Visakhapatnam. During the visit, the Naval Chief inspected various establishments in the command, reviewed a ceremonial parade and addressed the officers, sailors and civilians. Admiral Arun Prakash flagged off a ‘hash run’ organised on the occasion.
Hindi Fortnight was observed at Eastern Naval Command. Inaugurating the celebrations, Cmde SPR Reddy, Commanding Officer, INS Circars, highlighted the need for use of Hindi in offices. He reviewed the progress made in this regard.
Mr Sarat Chandra Jha, Assistant Director (Language), Hindi Teaching Scheme of the Ministry of Home Affairs, was a special invitee for the function. He elaborated various policies of the Government for the implementation of Hindi at all Central Government offices. During the Fortnight, ENC conducted various competitions and workshops with a view to promote usage of Hindi language in official work.
Tsunami performing with Eastern Naval Command Band
The Eastern Naval Command played host to an eight-member group of the US Pacific Fleet Band of the US Navy during its brief stay at Visakhapatnam. The group performed under the directorship of Robert Bowman, senior chief and Guy Gregg, unit leader.
The group is called Tsunami, a Japanese word which means high sea-wave caused by underwater earthquakes. The vibrant energy suggested by this word was the hallmark of the music presented to ENC officers, sailors and their families.
The US Naval Band, in combination with the band of the Eastern Naval Command Band, presented some memorable tunes on the occasion.
input: Cdr LN Prasad
It was a red-letter day for the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. After a long spell, as many as 346 cadets including 75 ladies were commissioned into the Indian Army at a glittering ceremony here. The cadets belonged to 78th Short Service Commission of gentlemen cadets and 24th course of lady cadets. Lt Gen BS Takhar, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, reviewed the parade led by Academy Under Officer Manish Kumar Lohan at the Parameshwaran Parade Ground and gave away medals to meritorious cadets.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Takhar called upon the passing-out cadets to use technology innovatively to enhance their war-fighting capability since emerging technologies would have greater impact on warfare. He stressed in the need to set personal examples in honesty and integrity to be successful in commanding men during peace and war both.
Soon after the parade, cadets’ parents ‘piped’ the young officers with two stars signifying the rank of Lieutenant. The moment, marking the culmination of the cadets’ arduous journey to become officers, was of overwhelming joy and satisfaction as the young officers wore their coveted ranks for the first time.
Academic Under Officer Manish Kumar Lohan bagged the Sword of Honour for being the best all-round cadet and OTA’s gold medal. Senior Under Officer Vidya Nair won the gold medal in lady cadets category. Academy Cadet Adjutant Raj Singh, among gentlemen cadets, and Junior Under Officer Aarti Malik, among lady cadets, won silver medals. Chief of the Army Staff Banner was awarded to Naushera Company for being best among five companies.
Popularly known as CITS, Counter-Insurgency Training School, Harchula in Assam is the alma mater of the Indian Army personnel operating in the North-East states, especially in Assam. The school was raised under the aegis of HQ 4 Corps on September 22, 1997. In its teething stages, the task of moulding this institution was entrusted to Headquarters, 5 Mountain Division under the stewardship of (Late) Maj Gen Ramesh Nagpal. The school was raised as an adhoc institution with a nucleus of officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks headed by Col Deepak Khurana.
Being only one of its kind in Assam, CITS helps various Army units to hone up their skills in operations against separatist forces. All Army units deployed in the state to play its part in the battle against insurgency has to first step into the precincts of CITS. They are trained for a month after which they are deployed to different areas in the state.
In addition to train regular battalions of Indian Army, the school takes into its fold para-military forces and Central Police Organisations, Assam Rifles, CRPF, Territorial Army units, Assam Police and Indian Reserve Battalions. CITS training is specific to the terra firma of the North-East region especially Assam. Though the forces are trained to get acclimatised to the terrain and climate of Assam from the plains of Tinsukia to the hills of North Cachar, they are trained to take on ultras elsewhere in the neighbouring states also. Along with improving skills in handling fire arms, discussions on changing tactics of insurgent organisations and various day-night exercises form the curriculum of the training schedule. Special courses in languages are also being conducted by CITS to train the Army personnel hailing from other states in understanding the language, customs and traditions of Assam.
The school believes in fighting guerrilla like a guerrilla. “The school is determined to root out the cancer of terrorism”, says Col Vinay Jaitly, Commandant, CITS.
–Maj Jaideep Ghose
Attestation parade at AMC Centre and School, Lucknow Cantonment
An attestation parade was held at Army Medical Corps (AMC) Centre and School in Lucknow Cantonment. Maj Gen JS Kulkarni, Deputy Commandant reviewed the parade in which 22 Nursing Assistants and 118 Ambulance Assistants, on completion of their training, were inducted as fullfledged soldiers of the AMC. The newly inducted soldiers gave a fine display of their training by marching smartly during the ceremony.
Earlier on arrival, Maj Gen Kulkarni was received by Col AK Nayak and escorted to the dais where he was presented general salute. On the occasion, the recruits took oath to serve the country and sacrifice their lives if required. Maj Vinoy Kumar was the Parade Commander.
Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee with the students from North-East at his South Block office
Fortysix students and six teachers from North-East states along with officials of Assam Rifles were on a six-day visit to Delhi. The students met President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhawan and Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee at South Block. While talking to children Defence Minister stressed that interaction with the people of mainland could play a major role in bringing peace to North-East states. Mr Mukherjee praised Assam Rifles for their initiatives in this regard.
Most of the students in the group had come to Delhi for the first time and were highly appreciative of Assam Rifles for providing them the opportunity to visit the places of historical interest and schools in the capital.
from New Delhi
Five ships of Eastern Fleet under the tactical command of Rear Admiral Sunil K Damle, FOC, Eastern Fleet, are on an overseas deployment to the South China Sea. The group consists of two Kashin class missile destroyers, Ranjit and Ranvijay, one missile frigate Godavari, an offshore patrol vessel Sukanya, a missile corvette Kirch and the fleet tanker Jyoti.
During the one-and-a-half month deployment, the ships are scheduled to visit Pusan (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Manila (Philippines), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Jakarta (Indonesia) in two groups. While group one would call on Pusan, Tokyo, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City, the second group is scheduled to visit Jakarta, Manila and Ho Chi Minh city by November 9. The primary aim of the visits is to enhance bilateral co-operation and strengthen naval ties.
The visit would provide an opportunity to showcase India’s ship-building capability through the indigenous missile frigate Godavari and corvette Kirch as also an ability to align and keep pace with the rapid technological advancements in the field of military hardware and systems.
Apart from the naval interactions whilst in harbour, the Eastern Fleet ships would also carry out basic level passage exercises with the host navies on departure from the particular ports. Further, the deployment would enable Indian fleet ships to operate and sustain far away from their base ports. The ships are scheduled to return to base port by mid-November.
Col Surendra Mehta felicitating outstanding recruits at the attestation parade in Lucknow Cantt
At a spectacular attestation parade, 62 recruits were inducted as full-fledged soldiers of 11 Gorkha Rifles at 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre (GRRC) in Lucknow cantonment. Col Surendra Mehta, Training Battalion Commander, reviewed the parade which was commanded by Recruit Devendra Pradhan. Maj Rajnish Sharma administered the oath of allegiance to the soldiers.
Hemant Kumar Rai was adjudged the Best Recruit of Shingo 3 Platoon while Khadga Bahadur Adhikari was adjudged the Best Recruit of Bogra 8 Platoon.
Other recruits who distinguished themselves in various fields during training were also awarded medals.
–B Satheesh Kumar
Brig AK Chowdhry laying a wreath at the War Memorial in Lucknow cantonment
Martyrs were paid floral tributes at a solemn ceremony organised to commemorate the 177th anniversary of the raising day of the Regiment of Artillery, popularly known as ‘Gunners’, in Lucknow cantonment.
During the ceremony, Brig AK Chowdhry, Brigadier Artillery, Central Command and Sub Maj Rampal Singh laid wreaths on behalf of all ranks. The day-long programme included a get-together of officers, both serving and retired, at the Central Command Officers’ Mess.
–B Satheesh Kumar
Maj (Mrs) VM Gor receiving the TA Decoration from Lt Gen S Choudhry, Vice Chief of Army Staff in Delhi Cantt
Territorial Army celebrated its 55th raising day at Terrier Hostel, Delhi Cantt. President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam complimented the voluntary force on the occasion. Lt Gen S Choudhry, Vice Chief of Army Staff presented TA Decoration to outstanding personnel to mark the occasion.
input: Sanjeev K Sharma
Students from Leh at Jantar Mantar in Delhi
As part of Operation Sadbhavana of the Indian Army, that also integrates people from far flung areas, a team of thirty women students from Women’s Empowerment Centre Nimmu and Chushot (Leh) were taken for an excursion to Delhi and Agra by 11 Field Regiment (Zojila) under 3 Infantry Division. The tour was flagged off by Mrs Radhika Rajgopal, President, AWWA, 3 Infantry Division.
The girls travelled to Chandigarh through the picturesque Upshi-Manali route. At Chandigarh they visited the Sukna Lake and the rock garden. In Delhi they went to the zoo, India Gate, Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Qutab Minar and some markets. At Agra the children visited Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
The tour helped the children to have an idea of possibilities in life as also witness the progress the country has made in all walks of life.
input: Col Atanu K Pattanaik
Col MK Bhandari and Lt Col M Mehta conducting the interactive session on heart diseases
Military Hospital organised a seminar and interactive session on prevention of heart diseases as an awareness programme for all ranks and their families at Vajra Central Hall in Jalandhar cantonment. Specialists from Military Hospital, Jalandhar and Station Health Organisation deliberated upon various aspects of the issue. Brig PK Bhuyan, Commandant, Military Hospital, Jalandhar cantonment was the chief guest on this occasion.
Col MK Bhandari, Senior Adviser Medicine discussed the important aspects of hypertension and stressed the role of life style modification in prevention of cardiovascular diseases. This was followed by an elucidation of management facilities available to tackle cardiovascular disease by Lt Col M Mehta. Lt Col Pushkar Singh presented an overview of prevention of cardiovascular diseases. A brief demonstration of helpful yoga and relaxation techniques was also conducted to be followed by an interactive session. More than 300 personnel attended this seminar.
–Naresh V Vig
A view of the clean-up drives in Kovalam Beach area
A massive clean-up drive for Kovalam Beach area was taken up jointly by Coast Guard, voluntary organisations and students. A team of more than 60 Coast Guard personnel, volunteers from Hoteliers’ Association, Zero Waste, Kovalam, Eureka Sports Club, Vizhinjam and students from local schools took part in the drive. The team, led by Lieutenant Commandant OG Kutty, CO, Coast Guard Station, Vizhinjam cleaned up the entire Light House, Hawa and Kovalam Beaches.
During this operation, all unwanted and harmful items, including plastic bags, glass bottles, beverage cans, cloth, leather, syringe, cigarettes, fishing nets and ropes were removed from the area and disposed safely.
On this occasion, Coast Guard personnel also organised a community interaction programme among fishermen and briefed them on various aspects of marine pollution and its consequences.
Gp Capt LS Bachcher giving away prize to the winner of the quiz contest
Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee Zonal Quiz Contest was conducted at Air Force Auditorium, Bamrauli under the aegis of Air Force Station, Bamrauli. Air Force has dedicated the year 2004-05 to the memory of the first Indian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee. This contest was conducted as a tribute to him.
HQ Central Air Command, Tiwari Talab, Allahabad, Air Force Station, Bihta and Air Force Station, Bamrauli as a host team participated in it. HQ Central Air Command qualified for command-level competitions. Gp Capt LS Bachher, Station Commander, Bamrauli gave away prizes to the winning team and appreciated the enthusiasm of the participants.
–Sqn Ldr SM Sharma
Air Marshal Raghu Rajan giving away the championship trophy to the winning wrestlers
The Wrestling Championship 2004-05 of the Indian Air Force was held at Diamond Jubilee Sports Complex, Bamrauli. A total of eight teams comprising 125 wrestlers participated in the Greco-Roman and free style competitions in the weight categories ranging from 55 to 125 kg. The overall championship was won by Training Command. On the basis of the performance of the participants, Air Force wrestling team was selected for Inter-Services Wrestling Championship at INS, Satavahana Vishakhapatanam.
Air Marshal Raghu Rajan gave away medals and certificates to the participating wrestlers.
–Sqn Ldr SM Sharma
Maj Gen A Parmar giving away Gold Trophy to Mr Sunod Kumar
Army Training Area and Environment Park (ATA&EP) Allahabad witnessed for the first time a golf tournament with a difference. It was a tournament for caddies of Army Golf Course, Kanpur, Triveni Golf Course at Air Force Station, Bamrauli and ATA & EP, Allahabad. Twentynine caddies participated in the tournament. The tournament was held under the aegis of Red Eagle Division with a view to encourage and recognise golf talent among the caddies. The tournament was played over 36 holes in two days.
Mr Sunod Kumar from ATA & EP played a scintillating 16 over par 142 to lift the championship trophy. Mr Iqbal, also from ATA & EP, played 19 over par 142 to emerge the runners up. Maj Gen A Parmar, Patron, ATA & EP, gave away the prizes.
–Sqn Ldr SM Sharma
Air Vice Marshal SK Banerjee addressing the participants of the official language workshop
An official language workshop was conducted at Headquarters South Western Air Command (SWAC), Gandhinagar.
Air Vice Marshal SK Banerjee, Senior Officer-in-Charge, Administration inaugurated the workshop. Mr RL Bhagat, Director, Official Language from Air Headquarters, New Delhi and several other officers from various units were present on this occasion.
Air Vice Marshal Banerjee, in his inaugural address, said that the workshop would be very beneficial for the Hindi-knowing staff serving in various units. It would enable all to update themselves on statutory policies, orders and modus operandi of their implementation.
The staff, who attended the workshop, were given lessons in linguistics, official language rules, Air Force orders, instructions and other modalities. The problems related to official language implementation, projected by representatives of different units, were also resolved.
–Wg Cdr TK Singha
Lt Gen K Nagaraj with officers at AMC Centre and School
Lt Gen K Nagaraj, GOC-in-C, Army Training Command (ARTRAC) visited Army Medical Corps Centre and School in Lucknow cantonment. Lt Gen B Sadananda, Commandant of AMC Centre, introduced him to senior officers at the centre.
Lt Gen Sadananda briefed Lt Gen Nagaraj on training programmes being conducted and future plans. The visiting General Officer also interacted with officers and recruits undergoing training at various battalions.
While witnessing training of recruits, Lt Gen Nagaraj stressed upon the fact that morale of troops depends on professionalism which includes application of knowledge for improvement in organisation.
During the visit, Lt Gen Nagaraj also met Lt Gen Ram Subramanyam, GOC-in-C, Central Command and discussed matters relating to training of troops.
–B Satheesh Kumar
Maj.Gen A Parmar giving away championship trophy to UB Area team
A total of seven teams representing different formations of the Central Command participated in the Central Command Basketball Championship 2004-05. These teams consisted of players selected after conduct of competitions at unit and formation levels.
In the keenly contested finals, Uttar Bharat (UB) Area won the championship defeating HQ 1 Corps. Maj Gen A Parmar, GOC, Red Eagle Division gave away trophy to the winners.
–Sqn Ldr SM Sharma
Lt Gen KK Khanna flagging off the Goodwill cycle expedition
A cycle expedition by 3 Engineer Regiment was flagged off from Udhampur by Lt Gen KK Khanna, Chief of Staff, HQ Northern Command, to commemorate the 39th raising day of the regiment. A team of twentythree including one officer, two junior commissioned officers and 20 jawans was led by Capt Rishii Bhanot.
The team passed through Pathankot, Mandi, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang Pass, Puh, Shimla and Kangra. The route covering 1750 kms was very demanding. It encompassed mountain passes at heights varying from 10,000 to 16,000 feet. The expedition team interacted with local residents including ex-servicemen to spread a message of goodwill.
–Lt Col RK Sen
WAC weightlifting team at HQ, Western Air Command
Air Force Weightlifting Championship was held at 3 Base Repair Depot, Chandigarh. Headquarters Maintenance Command won the championship while HQ Western Air Command (WAC) were the runners-up. The team was felicitated at Headquarters Western Air Command, Subroto Park.
–Sqn Ldr Sanjeev Sharma
Maj Gen Kuldip Singh Sindhu took over the appointment of Director General, Resettlement, Ministry of Defence. The General Officer is an alumnus of St George’s College, Mussoorie and graduated from National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun. He has held various illustrious appointments including command of an Armoured Regiment, an Infantry Brigade and an Infantry Division.
Air Cmde Inder Singh
Air Cmde Inder Singh assumed the command of Air Force Station, Adampur from Air Cmde KJ Mathews. An impressive parade marked the occasion.
Air Cmde Inder Singh is an ace flier who has flown varied types of fighter aircraft. An alumnus of NDA, he was commissioned in July 1975 in the flying branch of IAF. He has commanded a Fighter Squadron.
Air Marshal AK Singh
Air Marshal AK Singh has taken over as Senior Air Staff Officer of Western Air Command.
Commissioned in June 1967 in the flying branch of Indian Air Force, Air Marshal AK Singh has had a very distinguished career. An alumnus of National Defence College, Air Marshal AK Singh has held various command and staff appointments.
Before assuming the present office, the Air Marshal was Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air Headquarters.
Gp Capt Manavendra Singh taking over the charge of Air Force Station, Udhampur
Gp Capt Manavendra Singh, a distinguished helicopter pilot, has taken over the command of Air Force Station, Udhampur. He is qualified in various operational roles and has more than 6000 flying hours to his credit. He has served in many operational units of Air Force. While commanding a premier Helicopter Unit in North-East, he set new standards of training and operational efficiency and the unit was declared the Best Helicopter Unit in Eastern Air Command. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and Joint Services Staff College, USA, Gp Capt Singh led the unit helicopters into the famous “Malpa Rescue Operation”. For difficult operation, he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal.
Maj Gen Abhaya K Gupta (right) taking over charge from Maj Gen A Parmar
Maj Gen Abhaya Kumar Gupta took over the charge of Red Eagle Division, one of the oldest fighting formations, as General Officer Commanding from Maj Gen Abhradhwaj Parmar, at an impressive ceremony.
Maj Gen Gupta is an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College. He was commissioned into the 6 Grenadiers in 1971. He has attended various prestigious courses. He has a rich operational experience participating in Indo-Pak war operation Rakshak and Vijay in 1971. For his extreme devotion and dedication to service, he was awarded Vishist Seva Medal.
inputs: Naresh V Vig, Lt Col
RK Sen, Sqn Ldr SM Sharma and
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