Monday, September 30, 2013

Indo-Nepal Joint ArmyTraining Exercise In Pithoragarh

IMG_6426 by Chindits
IMG_6426, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Indian and Nepalese Armies crossed another historic milestone when a battalion from each of the countries took part in a combined training programme conducted to ensure inter operability of both Armies in the disaster prone region of Uttarakhand. The Indian Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh and the Nepalese Army Chief, Gen Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana witnessed the combined training exercise presently underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand Lt Gen Rajan Bakhshi, Army Commander Central Command was present on the occasion.

Based on an agreement during the 7th Security, the two countries commenced combined training at platoon level (30 men each) in 2011. The first two combined exercises focused primarily on jungle warfare and counter insurgency operations. Troops shared their experiences and exhibited skill sets during combined training at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Wirangte in Mizoram and a similar school at Amlekhganj in Nepal. 

The level of combined training was upgraded to company level (consisting of approximately 120 men) in 2012, based on experience gained in two exercises in 2011. The focus of company level combined training in 2012 also on counter insurgency and jungle warfare operations in hilly terrain as the Himalayan region all along Indo-Nepal border is covered with thick jungles amidst rugged Himalayas.“SURYA KIRAN V” is the first of the battalion level combined training between India and Nepal in 2013. Approximately 400 soldiers from each Army are participating in the combined exercises underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand. The Indian Army and Nepalese Army’s focus of training this year has been ‘Disaster Response’ in a geologically disaster prone zones in the Himalayas. Witnessing the well rehearsal drills in rescue, relief and disaster response techniques exhibited by both the Armies, the Army Chiefs expressed satisfaction at the level of preparation and coordination displayed by troops. Both the contingents shared their experiences in handling such situations in future. The exercise also helped in promoting understanding, inter operability and jointness in conduct of operations at battalion level. Both the Chiefs were thoroughly impressed by the high standards of training and synergy displayed by the participating contingents and complemented the troops for their efforts.

The Nepalese Army Chief lauded the Indian Army’s selfless service to the people by providing timely succor during rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand in June this year. The next combined training is scheduled in Nepal in December this year.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Indian Army's Oldest Infantry Division-Red Eagle Division,Celebrates its 75th Anniversary-Platinum Jubilee

It is a proud day for Indian Army as well as the nation as its oldest fighting formation, the 4 Infantry Division, also known as the Red Eagle Division, celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Platinum Jubilee on Saturday. The occasion was graced by a number of military dignitaries to include Lieutenant General Ravi Thodge, AVSM, SM, VSM, GOC STRIKE ONE, along with a number of previous commanders of the Division, both serving and retired. The celebrations formally started with remembering the brave soldiers of the Division who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, at the war memorial. Smt Rasulan Bibi wife of CQMH Abdul Hamid, Param Vir Chakra (posthumously) who was present on the occasion was felicitated by the Division and she also paid floral tribute to the martyrs.

The General Officer Commanding of the Division, Major General Surinder Singh, VSM laid a wreath at the war memorial and paid homage to the brave soldiers of the Division in the presence of Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Jawans.

A Sainik Sammelan was held afterwards. Major General Surinder Singh, VSM spoke about the Division and its exploits right from the time of the second world war till date. He said that it was the devotion to duty and sacrifice of each soldier that had earned the Division a top position in the annals of military history. He emphasized on the endeavor of each individual to uphold this glorious history of the Division with their utmost devotion and dedication to duty. This he assured, would ensure even greater glory in the days to come.

On this occasion the personals of Red Eagle Division were also addressed and motivated by previous General Officers Commanding of the Division Major General (Retd) MS Dugal, VrC, Major General (Retd) A Parmar, VSM and Major General GS Chandel, YSM, who also felicitated several serving personals of Red Eagle Division for their exemplary dedication in performing their duties by awarding them with certificatesof merit. The General Officer Commanding Major General Surinder Singh, VSM awarded the sports banner for the year 2012-13 to 5 KUMAON. 


Alert : Second Brazen Attack In Kathua, School Teacher Killed In Pathwal Village, Firing On In Dayalchak

Eight terrorists have been sighted in Kathua's Dayalchak area. Firing on. Leave cancelled of officers of most units posted in J&K. They entered a school in Pathwar village and killed a school teacher.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Defence Minister Condemns Terror Attack In Samba

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has condemned the dastardly attack by terrorists on Indian security posts in Jammu today.

Shri Antony conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family members of the officers and jawans who were martyred in this despicable attack and said the nation is with them in this hour of grief.

The Defence Minister said the Indian security establishment will leave no stone unturned in dealing with the terrorists with a firm hand.

Sitanshu Kar

CO 16 Cavalry Injured, 2-I-C Killed In Samba Terror Attack

Col Avin Utthaiya injured and, 2-i-C Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh of 16 Cavalry killed in terror attack today morning. They were in the Officers Mess of the unit, when the terrorists struck, Unit is right next to the main road/IB. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Govt Announces 7th Pay Commission As A Separate Pay Commission For Armed Forces, 3 Yrs In Advance---Probably Political Move For Votes !!

Details coming in, but it came today morning..The 7th CPC had to sit in 2016, but its been pre-poned by 3 years, probably in anticipation of next year's election and the huge vote-bank that ex-servicemen are, especially after approx 5 lakh ex-servicemen turned up for Modi's rally in Rewari.

Ever since the 6th CPC, servicemen - both serving and retired, have demanded that defence forces have a separate pay commission, looks like they've got this one !!

18 Pilatus PC-7 MkII Trainers Inducted Into IAF

In a latest development,  Pilatus Aircraft, the Swiss aircraft company is proud to announce that they have successfully delivered Pilatus PC-7 MkII aircrafts and logistic support material to Indian Air Force and has enabled them to complete induction of eighteen aircrafts as per the agreement.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is committed to serving the Indian Air force with its renowned dedication to Swiss precision and quality, through delivering and supporting the most advanced Basic Flight Training turboprop trainer in the world – the Pilatus PC-7 MkII.

Monday, September 23, 2013

HAL Delivers Home-made “Hawk” to Indian Navy

HAL has achieved another milestone by handing over the first home-made Hawk Mk -132 aircraft to Indian Navy at a function here today. “We built this aircraft in time and this is the first of the five aircraft to be delivered to the Indian Navy. The remaining four will be delivered soon”, said Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. He handed over the related documents to Vice Admiral Pradeep K Chatterjee, AVSM, NM, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.

Dr. Tyagi said it is matter of pride that all the training aircraft of the Indian Navy have been supplied by HAL. “We are carrying forward this legacy and will ensure that Navy gets all the support from HAL on all parameters”, he added. Hawk Mk 132 is the latest entry into HAL made and maintained aircraft and helicopters of Indian Navy which include Kiran and Do-228 aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. In addition HAL has also supported Navy in upgrade of Sea Harrier.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Chatterjee said Navy has long standing unique partnership with HAL. “We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder for all our current and future programs. Hawk delivered today will have a pride of place in Navy’s fleet. Given the fruitful association with HAL, we will even think of reviving past projects”, he said.

Against the contract for supplying 17 Hawk aircraft, HAL plans to deliver five aircraft in the current fiscal and balance in next three years to Indian Navy.

Hawk Mk-132 Aircraft: The Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer is a dual seat multi-purpose aircraft powered by a single Rolls Royce Adour Mk.871 engine. The Hawk AJT is primarily used for basic, advanced and weapons training of the pilots. However, the Aircraft has the capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence.

The Hawk AJT has excellent flying characteristics with good stability can be flown at night and can perform wide range of aerobatic manoeuvres. The aircraft can remarkably accommodate a wide variety of external stores. The cockpit is arranged in an efficient ergonomic manner in order to provide a lead-in to modern front line aircraft. The cockpit provides an excellent field of view for both pilots. The instructor’s station in the rear cockpit has appropriate override control of vital functions.

The primary flight control systems are provided by means of an all-moving tailplane, aileron and rudder deflections respectively. The secondary flight control systems comprise wing double slotted flaps and an air brake on the underside of the rear fuselage

BRO Annual Chief Engineers Conference & Equipment Management Conference-2013 Begins Tomorrow

Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is organising its four day long Annual Chief Engineers & Equipment Management Conference-2013 in New Delhi from tomorrow.

The Director General Border Roads and its Eighteen Chief Engineers of various Projects will be attending the conference to charter the future course of action for the BRO. Various issues of organizational interests will be discussed in the forum during four day conference. Various companies have been invited to deliver talks on latest technologies which can be implemented in the areas where BRO works.

Minister of State for Defence and Chairman, Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) Shri Jitendra Singh has consented to address the Conference on 24 Sep 2013.  Shri Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, BRDB shall also be present on the occasion.

BRO is undertaking construction of the 8.8 km Rohtang Tunnel out of which 3708.45m has been completed. The 592m cable stayed Basohli Bridge has progressed to 272.22 meter. BRO is also carrying out feasibility studies for works on other tunnels too.

BRO has contributed immensely towards the massive rehabilitation programme in Uttarakhand. It has deployed about 3500 men and over 100 dozers, excavators and other earthmoving equipment for opening the roads. With its initial focus on evacuation of stranded pilgrims and assisting rescue operations, BRO helped in establishing early road connectivity by providing modified bridges and opening damaged roads on a war footing enabling induction of relief material and extrication of stranded pilgrims. 2027 patients have been treated by BRO medical teams and has also assisted the State Govt by opening many PWD roads and launching a bridge near Hemkund Sahab too. However, to fully restore the road network a great deal of effort is required to be put in and advice from expert agencies is being sought in order to bring the State back on track.


Indian Navy's First Hawk Arrives

The Indian Navy has received the first of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, becoming the third naval operator of the Hawk along with the US Navy and the Royal Navy. 

The 17 Hawk aircraft ordered by the Indian Navy form part of a contract for 57 aircraft signed in 2010 of which 40 are for the Indian Air Force.  Among its 18 customers worldwide, India is the largest operator of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 70 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force. Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian Air Force are performing well.

Adding to the Indian Navy’s fleet of aircraft, the Hawk provides the ideal platform for pilots to transition smoothly to the Navy’s frontline aircraft.  Hawk effectively integrates air and ground based elements offering the most efficient and cost-effective method of training pilots. 

BAE Systems has worked closely with the Indian MOD and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to establish a production line in India where the Hawk aircraft are assembled.  Guy Griffiths, Group Managing Director—International said, “The introduction of the Hawk to a new user is a momentous occasion, and further testimony to the aircraft’s global success. This marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with HAL which has established a track record operating a world-class Hawk production capability. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with HAL and exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally.”

Looking forward, Griffiths added:  “We have also submitted our response to HAL’s Request for Proposal for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 additional Hawk aircraft to the IAF, and are now looking forward to partnering with HAL in providing the Indian Air Force’s display team this fantastic aircraft.”

BAE Systems’ Sea Harrier aircraft, which pioneered the short take off and vertical landing for jet aircraft, was bought by the Indian Navy in 1980 and the company continues to support them.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Caste Conscious V K Singh Specifically Asked For A Rajput orderly In 50 Brigade, As Chief-Designate !!

This happened in 50 Para Brigade Agra, just before V K Singh became Chief, sometime in Feb-March 2010, when he was Chief-designate. He was on rounds to some important formations as Eastern Army Commander, when he landed in Agra for a day and an orderly was sent to him. He sent him back after asking him his caste, and learning that the poor chap was not a Rajput !! Such strong is his caste-consciousness and they call army secular !!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ministry Of Defence Statement On V K Singh's TSD Activities & SS Funds

The Government has received a report from the Army HQ on certain issues relating to one of its outfits as reported by a section of the media today.

The report impinges on matters of national security and, as such, the government will take a decision and further actions after a careful examination of the report.

The government has in place measures to prevent any such undesirable activities.

It is further clarified that MoD has not taken any decision for a CBI inquiry into the issues raised in the Army’s Report.

Sitanshu Kar

Venezuela's Request For ALH Blocked Over Payment Mode, Shortage For Domestic Market

Indian Coast Guard Inducts Interceptor Boat In The Region

The Indian Coast Guard commissioned an Interceptor Boat (IB) for close-coast patrolling along the Odisha and West Bengal coast at Paradip, on Thursday.

Odisha Chief Secretary, Shri Jugal Kishore Mahapatra, commissioned the new vessel. Inspector General KC Pande, Commander Coast Guard Region (North East) and other civil and military dignitaries were also present at the ceremony.

The ship is commanded by Deputy Commandant Tarun Dutt Pandey and has a crew of one officer and 11 enrolled personnel.

IB C-426 will be based at Paradip under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North East).

The 28 meter long vessel displaces 90 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots, with an endurance of 500 nautical miles at an economical speed of 25 knots.

Equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment and medium range armament, it makes an ideal platform for undertaking high-speed interception, close-coast patrol, low intensity maritime operations, search and rescue, medical evacuation and maritime surveillance.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Makes China A Super Power : My First Person Account !!

Must say I always wanted to visit China atleast once, and my wish was granted, though it came in the midst of a personal tragedy. But I still wanted to make the most of this trip as it was special in many ways. it had a sizeable military component in it, which was of my interest, and also because I was specially chosen for this trip, by my hosts, based on my previous work on it is and here .

Considered enemy countries, I was always keen on visiting China and Pakistan, latter I had visited last year and this year I got a chance to be in China for eight days, in Beijing and Qingdao. 

After a glimpse of the mighty Great Wall,  as we landed, we were whisked from the airport itself to the Great Wall, I began my trip, wide-eyed looking around. Owing to my personal tragedy I was extremely unwell , with my nervous system almost drained out and on every outing of mine in Beijing, I looked around for a chemist, local doctor, small clinic etc by the roadside, the way I am so used to here in India, but all I could see there were Banks and only Banks, all kinds of them, with strange names. Huge swanky banks all around, made me wonder who were the customers here!! With names like 'Evergreen Bank', 'Grow with Us Bank' , Bank of Beijing etc, all I could see around was flashy world-class infrastructure. Even a visit to the women's international readymade apparel store-Zara, left me wondering, as the price there was less than what I pay in south Delhi Select City Walk mall-based Zara. I asked a colleague of mine about the price difference,  who replied,"Export/import duty naam ki bhi koi cheez hoti hai." I couldn't quite understand what that is, but just pretended that I understood and smiled at her, not willing to extend the discussion.

My first stop was at Academy Of Military Science : Chinese think-tank, headed by a serving Major General. Top research institute of the PLA, controlled by the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China. The recently issued White Paper on China's armed forces is the brainchild of Academy of Military Science. The White Paper talks of PLA's defence policy, strategy, diversified employment in which the Chinese armed forces personnel are engaged in, China's GDP, self defence etc.

Ministry Of External Affairs Of The Ministry Of Defence : Yes you read that right. The defence ministry of China has its own external affairs wing, totally autonomous from the political one. China's national defence policy is defensive in nature, but to develop "We need a peaceful international environment", is their motto.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, China : This is seperate from the one above . About the Ladakh incursion, all they had to say was "We have to try and avoid such incidents."

4th Army Aviation Regiment : One hour drive from Beijing, this regiment boasted of its attack chopper Z-9WZ. This regiment is dubbed 'Heroic team regiment' for its work in disaster relief ops. It has fixed wing and attack choppers besides reguler surveillance, logistic and troop movement choppers. Basically its a mobile regiment--read RRF !!

Brief visits to International Press Centre, China Daily and offices.

PLA Daily : Daily  newspaper in Mandarin with a circulation of 5,00,000 (so they claimed), invites articles from within the services. Has a full-fledged editing department. Officers and men can submit articles even if they are complaints and grievances.

Qingdao :   The train ride from Beijing to Qingdao covering 12 hrs in 4 hours in the super fast train, was worth an experience.  Port city with a population of 8 million. The small and relatively quiet coastal city was more of a holiday destination. Visit to the office of Qingdao Daily, which was on the main road facing the sea, made most of us  think of taking up a job in it, because of its location. 

The office of Qingdao Daily was like that of a 5-star hotel, huge and swanky, with a banquet hall, down below.

North Sea Fleet Headquarters :  The NSF came into existence in 1960. Breifing at the headquarters was about their submarines, strategy, aircraft carrier, naval air wing, threats and percieved threats and joint exercises.

Elaborate breifing about the new frigate Weifang and a walk-through visit onboard made my day. It reminded me of my first visit to our own home-made INS Shivalik, Weifang's counterpart here. 

Deputy Chief of Staff North Sea Fleet Rear Admiral Wang Lin presented me a ship rudder-steering wheel, as a momento for my late father (who was also a naval officer). 

The clean and spanky Weifang was just waiting for us to set foot. I examined the systems on the bridge but I was not allowed to take pictures. The 6 mm gun was quite similar to what we have. Somehow I found our ships better. Sun Tzu's large photo in the gangway, while walking inside the ship, caught my attention.

Wang Lin said that their aircraft carrier would take long to become functionally deployable, and that India was ahead of them in this area. Lin paid respect and tribute to my late father. 

The PLA and the PLA-Navy officers were all happy to learn that I've been an ex-instructor in the Indian Military Academy and come from a services background.

CO of Weifang Capt Li Jing Tao was a young, upcoming and energetic naval officer and reminded me of Shivalik's commissioning CO -- M D Suresh !!

Mostly the NSF officers stressed on the Japanese threat. About the future,  NSF would undergo a lot of modernisation by 2020 , mainly in areas of communication and electronics. 

Is there a hint there?

Anyway I wrapped up a great educative trip, but came back even more unwell, compared to when I reached there, after having lost about 5 kilos of weight due to lack of  anything to eat and having survived just on cucumbers, boiled potatoes and coffee, for 8 days !!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

At The PLA Daily Headquarters

All photos : Suman Sharma. Pl do not steal photos.

The Chinese Mi-17 !!

Pics : Suman Sharma, pl do not steal photos.