Saturday, February 28, 2015

Naval Chief Pays Homage At Shaheed Smarak

The greatness of any nation is reflected by the tribute its citizens pay to the valiant Armed Forces Personnel who had made the supreme sacrifice for the safety and security of our Motherland. The Noida Shaheed Smarak is one such unique tri-service memorial raised by the Noida township which is keeping the memories and spirit of our martyrs alive. 

Admiral R K Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, the Chief of the Naval Staff paid homage at the Shaheed Smarak, during the solemn occasion of the annual wreath laying ceremony organized by the Sanstha today (28 Feb 15). While speaking on the occasion, the Chief of the Naval Staff stated that it is an honour for him to pay tribute to these soldiers, airmen and sailors. He also took the opportunity to assure the families of these brave souls that the Armed Forces will continue to steer firmly on the path shown by them in ensuring security of our seaward and landward frontiers. The function was attended by a large number of civil and military dignitaries, IAS and IPS officers, ex-servicemen, school children and common citizens who came together to pay homage to our immortal martyrs. The apt tribute to the war Heroes truly instilled great sense of pride in the hearts of all those present on the occasion. 

The idea of setting up such a War Memorial to honour Martyrs was conceived in 1998. The existing Memorial is an eloquent tribute and homage to all those armed forces personnel whose ultimate sacrifice led to several decisive victories since independence. Today Noida Shaheed Smarak (NSS) is an iconic landmark, which not only keeps the memories of these brave hearts alive and serves as a source of inspiration for coming generation but is also for expressing of our eternal gratitude to those who made the supreme sacrifice so that we may see a better a tomorrow. Every year NSS Sanstha organizes Annual Wreath Laying ceremony in the month of February to pay homage to our Martyrs. 

Chinese Army's Head Of General Armament Department In India

The Minister of State for Planning (Independent Charge) and Defence, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh and General Zhang Youxia, Head of General Armament Department of the PLA and the member of CMC at the delegation level talks, in New Delhi on February 28, 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Indian Navy Concludes Its Annual Exercise - Tropex 2015

The Indian Navy concluded its annual Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) today. This month long war drill encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare, and witnessed participation of around 50 ships and submarines, along with over 70 aircraft from the three Naval Commands. The exercise also saw participation of units from the India Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard. The area of operations spanned the Arabian Sea and Northern Indian Ocean and was aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations. During TROPEX-2015, the Navy had deployed two Carrier Task Forces simultaneously at sea, with both Viraat and Vikramaditya operating with their integral flights in an operational scenario. This assumes significance as it makes the Indian Navy, besides the US Navy, capable of deploying more than one Carrier Task Force at sea, at present. 

TROPEX also saw extensive deployment of the nuclear submarine Chakra, the recently inducted P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft, the recently commissioned guided missile destroyer Kolkata and Anti Submarine Warfare corvette Kamorta. The exercise provided the right opportunity for the Navy to integrate these acquisitions into its war-fighting concepts. TROPEX-15 also served to reinforce the Indian Navy’s offensive capabilities across all dimensions, including Network Centric Operations, wherein, the indigenous satellite Rukmani was extensively utilised. The Navy also underscored its Op Logistics capability to effectively sustain Fleet Operations for extended periods at large distances. 

The exercise reinforced the Navy’s ability to serve in different roles with relative ease, when it exercised a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission, as part of the build up to the main phase of the exercise. This exercise was conducted against the backdrop of the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands having been struck by a super cyclone. The Indian Navy has the inherent capacity and capability to reach outlying islands and coastal areas, with relief and rehabilitation material, and remains continuously prepared for this task. 

Overall, the exercise reiterated the Navy’s preparedness and capability to meet various roles mandated for it, in support of national objectives. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Award Of Raksha Mantri’s Trophy -2014 For Best Service Hospitals

The Raksha Mantri`s Trophy and citation for the Best Service Hospital and 2nd Best Service Hospital in the Armed Forces Medical Services were presented by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar here today. The awards were received by Maj Gen T K Saha, Commandant, Command Hospital (SC) Pune for Best and Maj Gen A K Das, Commandant of Command Hospital (CC) Lucknow for the 2nd Best Service Hospital at a ceremony in the Defence Ministry, which was attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Defence Secretary and other important service and civilian dignitaries. 

The Defence Minister praised the yeoman service being rendered by the Armed Forces Medical Services over the years both in war and peace. He complemented all members of Command Hospital (SC), Pune and Command Hospital (CC), Lucknow and the entire Armed Forces Medical Services for excellent work in provision of contemporary and comprehensive healthcare. DG AFMS Lt Gen BK Chopra, while speaking on the occasion highlighted the modernisation programme of the Medical Services and reassured that the Armed Forces Medical Services is fully prepared to meet any challenge. 

The Raksha Mantri`s Trophy was instituted in 1989 to create a healthy competition among the Command Hospitals of the Army and its equivalent Hospitals in the Navy and Air Force. The Best and Second Best hospital are adjudged on the basis of a number of objective criteria by a Committee headed by DCIDS (Med). The Joint Secretary (O/N), Min of Defence is also a member of the Committee. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Army Chief Presents President's Standards To 44 Armoured Regiment

General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff, on behalf of the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Paranb Mukherjee, presented the President’s ‘Standards’ to 44 Armoured Regiment at Suratgarh Military Station on 25 Feb 2015. 

Lieutenant General Arun Kumar Sahni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Sapta Shakti Command, Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding, Chetak Corps and a number of senior officers and civil dignitaries were present. The chief host of event was Major General Gurjeet Singh Chima, Additional Director General, HQ NCC (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh & Chandigarh) and Colonel of 44 Armoured Regiment. 

This honour has been bestowed upon 44 Armoured Regiment in due recognition of the dedicated and meritorious service rendered by the regiment since raising on 15 December 1981. 44 Armoured Regiment has participated in a large number of operations undertaken by the Army since its raising. The regiment has been duly recognised with the award of two Vishisht Seva Medals, one Uttam Jeevan Rakshak Padak, 21 Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Cards, six Vice Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards, 19 General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation Cards and one United Nations Force Commander Commendation. 

The Parade was commanded by Colonel Arjun Uppal, Commandant 44 Armoured Regiment. To commemorate this historic event, the Chief of the Army Staff also released a “Special Day Cover”. 

Indian Coast Guard Undertakes 3 Search & Rescue Ops Off Jakhau, Gujarat

On the night/morning of 24-25 Feb 15, Indian Coast Guard undertook three different Search and rescue operations off the coast of Jakhau, Gujarat. Braving rough seas and weather conditions, ICG coordinated and rescued 21 precious lives from three sinking Barges during these operations. A brief detail of the incidents are enumerated below:-

Rescue of 04 Crew of Barge Sea Pearl.  At about 2230 hrs on 24 Feb 15 ICG Station Jakhau, Gujarat received a telephonic call from Port Officer, Jakhau Port regarding sinking of barge ‘Sea Pearl’ with 05 crew about 09 Nm into Jakhau sea. Within minutes ICG Hovercraft H-189 was immediately launched for Search and Rescue. Considering unfavorable sea conditions with sea state - 3, swell height about 2.5 m and winds gusting to 25 knots, Coast Guard Interceptor Boat C-408 was also sailed to augment the SAR operation. Additionally, Tug Lucky ex- M/s Sanghi Port operating in vicinity was also requested to assist in rescue operations.C-408 and H-189 successfully coordinated the rescue operation and 04 out of five crew members were rescued onboard Tug Lucky, while C-408 continued to search for the missing crew.

Rescue of 07 Crew of Barge Somya.  While engaged in search of the missing crew, at about 2340h, C 408 was informed of another distress onboard barge ‘Somaya’ of M/s MK Shipping, with 07 crew onboard, which was sinking close to barge Sea Pearl due to flooding in engine room. C-408 braving rough sea- conditions along with three other Barges SP-1, Jakhau –III and Muskan-I co-ordinated rescue efforts and rescued all the 07 crew from Barge Somaya. All the rescued crew were then transferred to Barge SP-1 and directed to return Jakhau port while C-408 and ACV H-189 continued to search for one of the missing crew of Barge Sea Pearl.

Rescue of 15 Crew of Barge SP-1 .  Further, At about 0250 h on 25 Feb 15, Barge ‘SP-1’ while proceeding for Jakhau Port ran aground about 02 Nm from nearest land and her lower compartments were flooded. ACV H-189 was again diverted for assistance and successfully rescued all the 15 crew (10 crew of SP-1 and 05 rescued crew of barge Somaya) from Barge SP-1. The rescued crew was then brought to Jakhau and handed over to representatives of M/s Jakhau Salt. 

The search for one missing crew of Barge Sea Pearl is still in progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Last Ditch Effort For Rafale : French Defence Minister Meets Indian Counterpart

The French Defence Minister, Mr. Jean Yves Le Drian and the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar at a delegation level talks, in New Delhi on February 24, 2015.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Exercise Surya Kiran VIII Commences In Nepal

The Eighth India-Nepal Battalion level Combined Military Training named  Exercise Surya Kiran-VIII, commenced on 23 Feb 15 at Integrated Army Training Centre, Saljhandi, Nepal, with an impressive opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the National Flags of both countries.
The Nepalese Contingent was represented by a Battalion from an Infantry Division of Nepalese Army while Indian side was represented by an equivalent strength from a Mountain Brigade.   Major General Padam Villas Karki of Nepalese army welcomed the Indian soldiers and urged both contingents to achieve optimum cohesion and interoperability to achieve military objectives of the exercise. He stressed upon importance of free exchange of ideas and concepts between the troops and the necessity to learn each other’s experiences.
The focus of the ongoing exercise is to carry out Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist Operations in mountainous and jungle terrain and to practice facets of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief including actions to be taken during Pandemic, Epidemic and various other humanitarian assistance situations. Aviation aspects and environmental conservation are also included in the scope of this exercise.

The two week long exercise will see the contingents hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism. State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for close quarter battle with terrorists, explosives and IED detectors, as well as the latest communication equipment are being fielded by both sides. Both sides will train, plan and execute a series of well developed combined tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism operations.

MoU Signed Between Indian Army & State Bank Of India

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and State Bank of India (SBI) on the Defence Salary Package on 23 Feb 2015. The signing in ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma and was attended by top dignitaries of SBI Bank, headed by Dr Vaidyan MG, Dy MD (Retail Strategy).
The first MoU between SBI and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years. The revised MoU is tailor-made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. A number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts spanning over a year.
The basic features of the MoU include a number of free / concessional services like free drafts, free cheque books, free funds transfers to any bank in India through RTGS / NEFT, free ATM cards etc. The provision also includes the Nepal Express Remittance Scheme which enables instant fund transfers to Nepal for the benefit of the Nepali Domicile Gorkha Soldiers serving in the Indian Army.
Additional improved features are linking of the Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) to the Savings account instead of the debit card, enhancement of the PAI amounts, enhancement of the exemption percentage of margin money for house and car loans and waiving off of the processing charges on the loans. The revised MoU will benefit almost 19.5 lakh pensioners and 10 lakh serving personnel who hold Pay or Pension accounts with SBI and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities.

Chief Of Naval Staff On Visit To Bangladesh From 23-26 Feb 15

Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of Naval Staff is on an official visit to Bangladesh from 23 to 26 Feb 15. The visit is intended to further consolidate the defence relations between the two countries and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation towards achieving comprehensive maritime security in the Bay of Bengal. 

During his stay at Bangladesh, the Chief of Naval Staff is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with the three Service Chiefs at Dhaka as well as ‘call-on’ the President and the Prime Minister. The CNS will also visit various training and operational facilities at Khulna and Chittagong. 

The Indian and Bangladeshi Navies cooperate with each other in various areas of technical training, participation in Victory Day celebrations, Navy to Navy Staff Talks as well as through interactions at various multilateral fora such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, and the Western Pacific Naval Symposium. The Bangladeshi Navy has been regularly participating in the MILAN series of exercises conducted by Indian Navy at Port Blair, and warships from both Navies call at each other’s ports. These avenues for cooperation provide excellent opportunity for professional exchanges, developing interoperability and to build camaraderie. 

The major issues that are likely to be discussed by the Chief of Naval Staff include exchange of white shipping information towards development of comprehensive maritime domain awareness, cooperation in maritime infrastructure development, training and exchange of subject matter experts. In addition, Bangladesh Navy has been invited to attend the prestigious International Fleet Review being organised by the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016. 

Last Chance For Rafale-Do Or Die !! Empowered Teams For Non-Stop Negotiations, Rajiv Verma To Represent India-Man To Watch Out For !!

Empowered teams from the French and Indian side would begin non-stop negotiations, to arrive at a decision about the MMRCA/Rafale. Joint Secretary Rajiv Verma (who got this project after Jt Sec Bal's untimely demise), is the man to watch out for, as his decision/recommendation cant be overruled even by PM Modi !

The bone of contention is India wants Dassault to take full responsibility of the delivery of the planes, while Dassault has refused the same for the HAL-made/assembled ones.

It was recently decided that such teams (small in composition) would be formed which would be empowered and would be in a position to take decisions, right there and then, as it was wasting too much time, when the French were holding discussions but needed time to go back home to ask their bosses and come back with decisions. All the best Dassault !!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

INS Sindhughosh Hit By Fishing Vessel, Periscope Damaged

Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhughosh was hit by a fishing vessel on Thursday night during a night naval exercise in the Arabian sea..Her periscope has been damaged, repairs are on.

This is her third accident. On Jan 10, 2008 INS Sindughosh had collided with cargo vessel MV Leeds Castle, in which it was reported to have suffered minor damage to its conning tower. Consequently, INS Sindhughosh was out of service for a month.

In Jan 2014 INS Sindhughosh ran aground.

Among other Kilo-class sub accidents, in August 2013, blasts ripped through INS Sindhurakshak's torpedo compartment killing 18 personnel. In Feb 2010 INS Sindurakshak reported a fire on board in
which a sailor was killed and two others were injured. The incident took place in Vishakapatnam.

Aero India 2015 Draws To A Close -- Last Day Images

Pics : DPR

Curtains on the five-day aerial extravaganza at Aero India 2015 came down at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, in Bengaluru, today. 

With the business part earlier winding up in the first three days, the weekend show witnessed more than 100,000 people thronging the venue on each days. 

With ‘Make in India’ being central to Aero India 2015 theme, defence manufacturing, airport infrastructure, aerospace, defence and civil aviation sectors were among the focus at the event. 

While tangibles from the several business-to-business and round table meetings that took place will take time to be assessed, Aero India 2015 ends on a successful note. 

Barring a mid-air collision between Red Bull members, which was handled with a very high degree of professionalism with no injury to anyone on ground or air, aerial displays continued to enthral audiences till the end. 

Debuting on social media platforms, an effort was also made by the Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence to reach out to the ever-increasing social media followers worldwide providing updates and glimpses from the air show venue.

Sky Cats !!