Monday, November 30, 2015

Israeli Commander of Air & Space Forces Meets Indian Counterpart

Major General Amir Eshel, Commander of Israeli Air & Space forces called on Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha at Air Headquarters, today. 

India-Israel relations have grown steadily. In the recent years, India-Israel defence co-operation has grown into multifaceted defence level exchanges in diverse areas of defence co-operation. On its part, Israel views India as a strategic ally and has displayed willingness to co-operate on all fronts. The Indo-Israel defence relations comprise mainly of purchase of military equipment, MoD level dialogue, technology collaboration and service to service defence co-operation through service level staff talks. 

India-Israel defence co-operation has improved rapidly in the last few years with Israel providing state-of-the-art military hardware to India at reasonable cost. Israelis have been at the cutting-edge of R&D in advanced technologies in a wide range of fields such as telecom, software, biotechnology, medical, electronics, agriculture and defence. Israel undertakes joint industrial R&D projects with several advanced countries including India. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Indian Army Chief To Visit Sri Lanka

General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), will embark on a four day goodwill visit to Sri Lanka from 30 Nov to 03 Dec 15. The visit assumes special significance in light of increasing defence cooperation between the two countries. In recent years, the Indo- Sri Lanka relationship has been marked by high level bilateral exchanges in various fields between the two countries. 

Amongst the countries of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Sri Lanka is the most important partner and one of our most important neighbour. Defence and Security Cooperation between the two countries have been an important component of the Bilateral Strategic partnership. Bilateral exchanges at various levels over the past year with significant progress in implementation of developmental assistance projects, enhancement of trade and defence cooperation has helped further cement the bonds of friendship between the two countries. Defence cooperation between the two countries has been characterized by mutual training exercises, exchanges at functional level, cooperation in maritime security and humanitarian assistance. 

During his visit, the COAS is scheduled to interact with senior officials of Defence Forces and Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka to discuss a wide range of issues and to enhance military cooperation. He will also visit training establishments and Formation Headquarters. The visit will further enhance the longstanding ties and cooperation in other areas of mutual interest between India and Sri Lanka, including regional security. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

DRDO Organises Workshop on Disaster Management

DRDO organised a one day workshop here today with the objective to showcase technologies and products developed indigenously by the organisation which can be readily adopted or customized for disaster management. The workshop was inaugurated by Addl Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. PK Mishra in the presence of Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Director General, DRDO Dr. S Christopher. 

Speaking on the occasion Dr. PK Mishra said India has been hit by disasters frequently which were both man-made and of natural origin and the steps taken and lessons learnt from the past should be utilised and make it sustainable by using better innovations. He stated that ‘in the past the approach to disaster management was mostly relief centric but now we have to think differently and must delve more on the process of mitigation and preparedness for any kind of eventuality’. Dr Mishra further said that apart from natural calamities, cyber disaster pose a new threat in the present day situation and there is a need to address this challenge where the DRDO and other stakeholders can contribute immensely. He complimented the vital role of DRDO for its innovations and training efforts towards disaster management. 

Dr. S Christopher in his keynote address said natural hazards affects nearly six percent of India’s population and 24 percent of deaths in Asia caused by disasters. He stated that DRDO has developed several technologies as an offshoot of defence research which find useful applications for disaster management. He also mentioned that the organisation will continue to be in the technological development and support mode to save precious human lives. 

DRDO has in the past contributed to the various disaster management operations like Tsunami disaster in 2004, Uttarakhand flash floods in 2013 and J&K floods in 2014. Besides these, post event trauma management during tsunami disaster was also conducted by DRDO. As DRDO is developing many state-of-the art technologies, some of these can be adopted for future disaster management solutions. 

The stakeholders participating in the workshop are NDMA, NDRF, MHA, Armed Forces, CRPF, CISF, NSG, NIDH and others. To showcase the products and technologies, an exhibition was also organised where eleven DRDO laboratories showcased their products and made technical presentations. Panel discussions amongst dignitaries of various stakeholders were also conducted with the objective to define trajectory of developmental activities of DRDO for future technological solutions to assist risk mitigation and preparedness against disasters. Apart from various stakeholders, several industry development partners also participated in the workshop. 

DRDO’s indigenous technologies can be easily adapted towards disaster management solution by various stakeholders. The Industry partners are locally manufacturing these products and technologies are readily available. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

33rd Infantry Commanders Conference

33rd Infantry Commander’s Conference is underway from 26  to 28 Nov at The Infantry School Mhow, Madhya Pradesh. The conference is a biennial event aimed at taking a holistic review of operational, training and management aspects of the Infantry which are crucial to  retaining, maintaining & enhancing its role. The last such conference was held in September 2013.

The objective of the conference is to  identify its strength and draw a road map for the future. Lt General Sanjay Kulkarni, Director General (DG) Infantry, addressed the conference in its inaugural session. Issues of modernisation of Infantry, training orientation and human capital development were discussed.

On 27 Nov 2015, General Dalbir Singh, the COAS was received by Lt General Sanjay Kulkarni, Lt General SL Narasimhan, Commandant Army War College and Lt Gen KH Singh, Commandant of The Infantry School. The conference was presided over by the COAS on 27 & 28 Nov 2015 and was attended by a cross section of Infantry Officers, including Colonels of the Regiments of Infantry Regiments, Infantry Formation Commanders and number of Commanding Officers.

The COAS called upon the Infantry Commander’s to lay emphasis on Junior Leadership and Human Capital Development. He expressed  confidence in the level of Operational Preparedness of the Army and stressed for officers to be dynamic in their thought process and approach to meet future challenges. The conference is providing an appropriate platform for eminent Formation Commanders and Infantry Battalion Commanders to share their thoughts, as also is giving an opportunity to introspect in an open and forthright manner on infantry related issues. Deliberations during this conference are bringing up innovative thoughts to ensure that Infantry contributes effectively in dealing with the emerging challenges of the nation’s security.

DRDO Workshop On Disaster Risk Reduction & Preparedness – A Curtain Raiser

DRDO is organising a one day workshop on 28 November 2015 with the objective to showcase technologies and products developed indigenously by the organisation which can be readily adopted or customized for disaster management. The use of these technologies will help in reduction of socio- economic and environmental impact of disasters. DRDO has in the past contributed to the various disaster management operations like Tsunami disaster in 2004, Uttarakhand flash floods in 2013 and J&K floods in 2014. Besides these, post event trauma management during tsunami disaster was also conducted by DRDO. As DRDO is developing many state-of-the art technologies, some of these can be adopted for future disaster management solutions. 

It may be noted that due to variations in geography and climates, India is susceptible to various calamities/disasters like earthquakes, floods, droughts, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides and avalanches which may be man-made or of natural origin. Apart from these, vulnerability to emergencies arising out of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) material also exists. Disaster management broadly comprises the pre-disaster phase which includes prevention, mitigation and preparedness, while the post-disaster phase includes response, rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery. 

The workshop will be inaugurated by Addl Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. PK Mishra in the presence of Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Director General, DRDO Dr. S Christopher. 

The stakeholders participating in the workshop are NDMA, NDRF, MHA, Armed Forces, CRPF, CISF, NSG, NIDH and others. To showcase the products and technologies, an exhibition is also organised where eleven DRDO laboratories are showcasing their products and making technical presentations. This will be followed by panel discussions amongst dignitaries of various stakeholders, with the objective to define trajectory of developmental activities of DRDO for future technological solutions to assist risk mitigation and preparedness against disasters. Apart from various stakeholders, several industry development partners are also participating in the workshop. 

The workshop will witness lectures on different topics viz. combating disaster from R&D E (E) and VRDE, Management of Biological and Chemical Disaster by DRDE, Communication Technologies for Disaster by DEAL, Medical Management of Disaster by INMAS, Drinking Water Solutions by DLJ, Landslide Disaster by DTRL, Detection Technologies by NPOL, Avalanche Disaster by SASE, Food and Fire Fighting by DFRL and CFEES respectively. 

The items to be displayed in the exhibition are CBRN mini UGV, Multipurpose Decontamination System (MPDS), Mobile Decon System (MDS) NBC Individual Protective Equipments (suit, mask, haversack, boot, gloves, casualty bag), First Aid Kits Type A & B, Tri-Colour Detector, Residual Vapour Detection Kit, Water Poison Detection Kit, Chemical agent detectors (IMS based CAM and ACADA, Flame Photometer based, GC-MS based), NBC Canister, ROV-DAKSH, UAV NETRA, Food and Fire Fighting equipment, Water Purification System, Snow equipment like bridge, net, shoes etc. 

DRDO’s indigenous technologies can be easily adapted towards disaster management solution by various stakeholders. The Industry partners are locally manufacturing these products and technologies are readily available. Also by this workshop stakeholders will come to know of current developments and new developments can be taken up for providing better solutions in future. 

Workshop On Minimal Access Cardiac Surgery At Army Hospital (Research & Referral)

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Army Hospital (Research & Referral), New Delhi is conducting a two day workshop from 27 to 28th Nov 2015 on the issue of ‘Minimal Access Cardiac Surgery’ with the theme being “Small is Beautiful”. 

About 50 cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists from all over the country are attending the workshop, which was inaugurated on 27 November 2015 by Lt Gen M K Unni, Director General Medical Services (Army), an eminent cardiac surgeon himself. 

Cardiac Surgery carried out with a small incision has come of age and more and more surgeons are embarking on this technique. This technique affords early recovery of the patient with less invasion without compromising on patient safety. 

Brig R Kaushik, Consultant & HOD stated that the aim of the workshop is to train surgeons in this new technique and bring about a change in their mindset so that they can incorporate this in their armamentarium. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Chief Of Naval Staff On Visit To Sri Lanka

Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff is on a visit to Sri Lanka from 23-25 Nov 15 to participate in the sixth edition of the Annual International Maritime Conference, Galle Dialogue 2015. Indian Navy has been a regular participant in Galle Dialogue since its inception.

Galle Dialogue is an annual International Maritime Conference, conducted by Sri Lankan Navy and is aimed at bringing together a host of professionals to discuss and deliberate matters of maritime interest. The event is held in the historical port city of Galle, located in South Sri Lanka.

Over 105 delegates from 36 countries are expected to attend the event. The concept of this year's edition of Galle Dialogue is "Secure Seas through Greater Maritime Cooperation". The Chief of Naval Staff is scheduled to share his views on "Significance of Developing Mutually Beneficial Architectures and Partnerships for Maritime Security" during the first session of the event.

The Chief of Naval Staff is also scheduled to call on Mr Ranil Wickramasi nghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr Karunasena Hettiarachchi, the Defence Secretary and meet Vice Admiral RC Wijeguneratne, the Commander of Sri Lankan Navy during his visit. Wide range of discussion will also be held on various maritime cooperation issues.

Naval Chief At Indian Naval Academy Passing Out Parade

Serve the Country and Navy with Pride: Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff Advises Cadets to Strive for Excellence in Every Sphere of Life 

At an impressive Passing-out Parade (POP) held at the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala here today, 330 cadets of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard and six cadets from friendly foreign countries passed through the portals of the INA, on successful completion of their training. This POP marked commissioning of the cadets of the 89th Indian Naval Academy Course (pB Tech) and (MSc) Courses into the Indian Navy here today morning. 

The passing-out cadets belonged to four different courses of the Autumn Term 2015, viz., the 89th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) BTech & MSc courses, the 20th Naval Orientation Course (Extended), and, the 21st Naval Orientation Course (Regular). Also graduating and marching shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts were 21 female cadets from the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. 

The parade was reviewed by the Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff. After the ceremonial review, the Admiral awarded medals to nine meritorious cadets. During his address, the Admiral congratulated the passing-out cadets and advised them ‘to serve the Country and Navy with pride and always uphold the five values, viz., commitment -to make supreme sacrifice for the nation and navy, courage- both physical and moral, compassion- towards men and women you lead, credibility- in performance and character and finally to have an integrity beyond doubt – always and every time’. He concluded his address by exhorting the cadets to always strive for excellence in whatever they do in the Navy and in life. The Commander-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Commandant, INA, Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, also witnessed this momentous occasion. Earlier on 23 November all the Passing-Out cadets took an Oath of Allegiance, at the War Memorial, Prerna Sthal, which was administered by the Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor, Rear Admiral MD Suresh. The Passing-out Parade was also witnessed by the proud parents and guardians of all successful cadets, as well as by a large number of local and outstation dignitaries, and media personnel. 

The ‘Presidents Gold Medal’, for the cadet adjudged first in the overall order-of-merit of the INAC course was awarded to Flotilla Cadet Adjutant Jaswant Singh, ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the cadet adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation (Extended) Course was awarded to Cadet Arun Balaji E. Cadet Darshita Babu was awarded the ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the cadet adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation (Regular) Course and also the ‘Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (South) Gold Medal’ for being adjudged the best woman trainee of the course. 

The glittering ceremony culminated with the successful cadets forming up in two columns, and marching, with their gleaming swords held in salute, past the Academy’s Saluting Dias (known as the Quarterdeck), in Slow March, to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune played by all Armed Forces of the world when bidding adieu to colleagues and comrades. Passing-out courses were bid farewell by cadets of junior term who manned the mast as the successful cadets streamed past the hallowed quarterdeck. 

On completion of the parade, the ceremony of ‘Shipping-of-Stripes’ was conducted. The proud parents/guardians of the passing out cadets shipped the Naval (or Coast Guard) epaulettes, popularly known as ‘Stripes’, on the shoulders of their children/wards, thus symbolizing their transformation from ‘cadets’ into full fledged Naval or Coast Guard Officers. The Reviewing Officer and other dignitaries present congratulated the trainees on their successful completion of the rigorous course. On completion of the training at the Indian Naval Academy, the officers will proceed to various Naval and Coast Guard ships/establishments, to further consolidate their training in specific fields. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

IAF Chief Inaugurates National Seminar & Exhibition On Challenges in Make in India initiatives at HAL Nasik

Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha inaugurates National Seminar & Exhibition on Challenges in Make in India initiatives at Hal Nasik

The Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Air staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha addressed senior officers of HAL at the inauguration of the Seminar & Exhibition on ‘Challenges in Make in India Initiatives’ at HAL Nasik Division. While addressing the gathering, the  Air Chief said that indigenisation holds the key to success in attaining self reliance in Defence production and gaining strategic independence.  The Air Chief expressed his appreciation on the successful conduct of the event being organized by HAL. He said that Quality Control and Certification of indigenous products should be the focus area to produce world class high quality equipment.

He further commended the role of HAL and its rich legacy.  He said that its history and growth over the last 50 years was synonymous with the growth of the Aeronautical Industry in India.  The MiG Complex has undertaken licensed production and overhaul of various Russian origin aircraft. 

The Air Chief further said that the status of the IAF aircraft inventory was mainly dependent upon HAL and he hoped that HAL would ensure timely inductions, quality product support and speedy overhaul of aircraft. 

The Air Chief complimented HAL for its significant contribution towards ‘Make in India’ initiative and boosting self-reliance through indigenization.  He emphasized that setting up of state-of-the-art test facilities for future programmes should be a key focus area so as to transform HAL into a major Manufacturing and Research & Development centre of excellence in the field of aviation.

While concluding the speech, the Air Chief exhorted HAL to strive to attain technological leadership and excellence to meet global standards and become a world class enterprise in aircraft production.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Committee of Experts Constituted by Defence Minister on review of litigation and redressal of grievances submits its report

Committee of Experts Constituted by Defence Minister on review of litigation and redressal of grievances submits its report 

The Committee of Experts constituted for review of service and pension matters including potential disputes, minimizing litigation and strengthening institutional mechanisms related to redressal of grievances submitted its Report to the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar here today. The five members Committee was constituted on the directions of the Defence Minister. 

The Committee thanked the Minister for taking a historic step for the first time to minimize litigation and grievances in the Ministry of Defence so that the focus could remain on the core issues of governance and administration. It also thanked Shri Parrikar for ensuring that there was no interference in the Committee’s functioning and for encouraging the panel to come up with honest, dispassionate and objective observations without fear or favour. 

The Committee’s approach remained to identify practical on-ground solutions to reduce litigation, especially appeals, and steps towards reduction of heartburn, maintenance of harmony between employees and the establishment and balancing of rights of both parties which could lead to an increase in productivity and enable the Government to focus upon its basic responsibilities. The Committee has postulated practical, workable, reformatory and gradual solutions in its 509 page report encompassing 75 recommendations in areas concerning service and pension matters, discipline and vigilance issues, matters concerning promotions and confidential reports, military justice, issues related to civilian employees and other potential areas of disputes. 

Showing utmost sincerity and seriousness towards such issues, it was the first time after independence that a step was taken in the Ministry of Defence personally by the Defence Minister for constitution of a panel of experts who went into great detail of all such issues. 

The Members of the Committee were former Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, former Military Secretary Lt Gen Richard Khare, former Judge Advocate General Maj Gen T Parshad, Advocate and expert in service jurisprudence and Member of International Society of Military Law Maj Navdeep Singh and Maj DP Singh. 

Joint Sail Voyage By Indian & Royal Navy Of Oman Sail Training Ships From Muscat To Kochi

Joint Sail Voyage by Indian Navy Sail Training Ship Tarangini and Royal Navy of Oman Sail Training Ship Shabab Oman from Muscat to Kochi 

Tall ships of Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) set sail together from Muscat to Kochi to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as to retrace the historic sail ship voyages undertaken by Dhows, and sail trading ships from both countries to each other’s ports, taking advantage of seasonal winds. These seasonal winds are called ‘Mausam’ in Arabic. The flourishing trade of spices and garments from India and dates and gold from Oman, nurtured the two civilisations, developing cultural and trade linkage over many centuries. Since then, over five lakh Indians have made their home in Oman strengthening cultural linkages between the two nations. 

Indian Sail Training Ship Tarangini had earlier reached Muscat on 22 Nov 15 and a host of activities including media interaction were conducted by the Indian High Commission at Muscat. Rear Admiral SK Grewal, Flag officer Sea Training (FOST) attended the events at Muscat. The ship also embarked ‘Distinguished’ personnel for short duration during the sail out on 24 Nov 15. A Flag Officer from Indian Navy is planned to be deputed for the event at Muscat.

In consonance with the spirit of the event, cadets and young officers from Royal Navy of Oman will embark Indian Sail Training Ship and a few officers and cadets from Indian Navy will embark STS Shabab Oman during sail together from Muscat to Kochi.

On arrival of both Sail Training Ships at Kochi, a grand welcome and a befitting closing ceremony to this endeavour are planned from 04 - 07 Dec 15. Various events such as Distinguished Visitors Programme (DVP), media interaction, reception hosted by both ships, cultural/ heritage tour for RNO personnel, sports fixtures and visit to Indian Naval facilities at Kochi by RNO personnel are planned.

The event, celebrating 60 years of establishing diplomatic relations, as well as one of the first major event under ‘Project Mausam’, will further strengthen diplomatic and maritime linkages between the two countries and pave the way for more such endeavours.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Indian Navy Organises Day At Sea, As Part Of Navy Day Celebrations

Navy Day is all about youth. With a bid to expose the young citizens of our country on the complexity and significance of the Indian Navy, a day at sea was organised for cadets from National Cadets Corps (NCC) and Sea Cadets Corps (SCC). IN Ships Teg, Mumbai and Mysore embarked 563 cadets and 23 instructional staff for a sea sortie which showcased life at sea and fleet operations today. Such firsthand exposure goes a long way in introducing the cadets towards overall concepts of defending our country and cutting edge technology being used in the navy.  

The event started, this morning, with a brief on the ship, safety instructions and a walk around of the ship. Since cadets do have basic theoretical knowledge about ships, this sea sortie provided excellent practical exposure. The evolutions for the day at sea included Force Protection Measures (FPM) drill, helicopter demo and fly past, anti aircraft firing, jackstay (a drill to transfer stores from one ship to another while ships are underway) and fire fighting and damage control drills.

In the run up to Navy Day, a variety of interactions with school students are organised by the Western Naval Command for exposing the future of our country to Indian Navy. These interactions include band concerts and parades, helicopter demonstration, visit to ships in harbour and day at sea. Children from many schools will also be proceeding to sea on 28 November 2015.

DEFCOM India - 2015

DEFCOM 2015 conducted over a period of two days i.e. on 23 & 24 Nov 2015 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Eminent speakers from Defence Forces, Industry and Academia and  R & D Organisations participated in the various technical sessions.

The Seminar was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar. The Seminar is an annual event jointly organized by Corps of Signals (Indian Army) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). It is aimed at fostering synergy between the Armed Forces and practitioners of Information Communication Technology Electronics and Cyber (ICTEC) in Industry. The 2015 edition of DEFCOM was themed on “Leveraging ICTEC Infrastructure and harnessing the Human Capital for Digital Army”.

The Indian Army has been in the forefront of adapting commercial technologies for delivering state of the art ICTEC infrastructure to its field formations. Corps of Signals has been stimulating meaningful and focused discussions through the forum of DEFCOM over the years. The Seminar presents an ideal platform for all participants to understand each other’s capabilities and needs in the ICTEC fields, synergise their efforts and emerge with a pragmatic way forward.

The Seminar comprised of four scheduled sessions. The seminar-cum-exhibition is also providing a unique opportunity for display of latest State of the Art Communication Systems by the National and International Industry. In the past, this Seminar has led to absorptions of latest technologies by Indian Army in terms of its Communications and IT projects.

Defence Minister inaugurates DEFCOM-2015 

The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar has stressed the need to enhance the Information, Communications, Technology, Electronics and Cyber (ICTEC) infrastructure capabilities of the Indian Army to ensure protection from disruptive cyber-attacks and manipulations. Addressing the inaugural function of the two day long DEFCOM-2015 here today, Shri Parrikar said, while we progress through the use of ICTEC and make the army more digitalised, the other danger is disruption by the adversaries. “My worry is information black out which can result out of disruptive mechanisms” he said. The minister said that the future wars may be in the form of cyber wars but he strongly felt that the conventional armies cannot be replaced and should be equipped by providing them the information to fight in a well decided, equipped and planned manner. Describing India as source of human intelligence he said, we have been in the forefront of software development and now there is a need to go into better hardware designing and integration in our streams.

Lt. Gen Nitin Kohli, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Colonel Commandant Corps of Signal in his speech said the Indian Army is moving towards net centricity and is implementing a large number of communications and information technology projects. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Director General, Shri Chandrajit Banerjee and CII Chairman, Shri Kiran Karnik also spoke on the occasion.

The DEFCOM-2015 is jointly conducted by the Corps of Signal (Indian Army) and CII under the theme “leveraging ICTEC Infrastructure and Harnessing the Human Capital for Digital Army”. The event presents an ideal platform for all participants to understand each other’s capabilities and needs in ICTEC field, synergise their efforts and emerge with a pragmatic way forward.

The Defence Minister also inaugurated an exhibition of leading edge equipment by over fifty manufacturers of Indian and International Industry at the venue.

The function was attended by the Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh, Senior Army Officers, distinguished speakers and luminaries from Indian Industry, Academia and R&D organisations.

Government Committed to Enhance Indigenisation and Indigenous Content in the Defence Sector: Shri Manohar Parrikar, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri

Shri Manohar Parrikar, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri said that our efforts are towards enhancing indigenization & indigenous content in the defence sector while inaugurating DEFCOM 2015 co-organised by Confederation of Indian Industry and Corps of Signals Indian Army at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 23 November 2015. New DPP will reflect this intent of the Government. He further said that Indian army should make use of the digital advantage created by recent policy initiatives. Due to information overload, finding right information & at the right time is like finding a needle in a haystack. We need to leverage our software strength and enhance our capabilities in hardware design and manufacture.

Future wars may be cyber wars. He added that despite ICT advancements in the area of Defence, conventional army cannot be replaced but can be equipped with technology and more advanced and authentic information. He shared that while benefits of ICT developments should be leveraged, there needs to be caution about the disruptive nature of technology and also the data & network security related issues associated with it.

Hon’ble Minister also congratulated CII for being in the forefront of Make in India initiative and helping with the revision of Defence Procurement Procedure. He said Government is looking at using more of indigenously developed products for Defence usage.

Mr Kiran Karnik said that over last two decades we have seen how ICT sector has evolved in India. The sector accounts for 1 million direct jobs and addition 1 million indirect jobs. Defence area is very critical for the use of ICT as the increased use of ICT brings along challenges pertaining to cyber security. DEFCOM 2015 provides a platform for bringing Defence & ICT capabilities together to address the issue of Cyber Security in all respect. He also highlighted the need to create an institutional mechanism though which industry can use of talent available in the Indian Army after post their retirement.

Lt Gen Nitin Kohli, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals, Indian Army said that we our aim is to provide information access to everyone about the independent systems like sensor and shooters from across the platforms on real time basis. DEFCOM brings end-users and Industry together to discuss developments and technological advancements and innovations. Highlighting various benefits of Network Centric Warfare, he enunciated the vision of having a Digital Army leveraging ICT and human capital.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said that the ongoing rapid pace of policy reforms has created positive business sentiments within the country as well as overseas. Now the onus lies on the industry to make use of the opportunities and the favourable policy regimes. While leveraging the strength of Indian industry, we have to create more capabilities in the electronics and hardware manufacturing. There is an undeniable necessity in enhancing the indigenous content of our defence related hardware.

Maj Gen R Sabherwal, ADG, Tac C, Indian Army, while thanking all dignitaries and Hon’ble Minister, highlighted the relevance of DEFCOM and the focused discussions it is hoping to have to make Digital Army a reality.

Late Col Santosh Mahadik's Unit Gets A Terrorist, Ops Still On In Hajinaka Manigah, J&K

41 RR (Marathas)- late Col Santosh Mahadik's unit in the valley and 160 TA (JAK Ligt Infantry), whose LtCol KS Natt was injured yesterday, have got a terrorist today morning (pic above). Ops are still on in Hajinaka Manigah

R.I.P. Col Santosh Mahadik

Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D.S.Hooda paying his last respects to martyr Col Santosh, who died for the country in J&K, fighting terrorists.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Valedictory Of 139th Qualified Flying Instructors Course Held At Airforce Station Tambaram

The Valedictory Function for the 139th Qualified Flying Instructors Course (QFIC) was held on 20 Nov 2015 Air Force Station, Tambaram.  The Chief Guest for the function was Air Marshal S Neelakantan, Air Officer-in-Charge personnel.  Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Tambaram, Air Commodore Rippon Gupta was the Chief Host.

The Flying Instructors School (FIS) which is based at Air force Station, Tambaram, is a unique institution that has established a niche for itself in the field of aviation training. It has rich experience o more than 60 years as an established unit of the IAF.  At the international level, several professional pilots from friendly foreign countries have graduated from this School.

Group Captain Vivek Gupta, Commanding Officer of the Flying Instructors' School, under whose supervision all the training is done, summed up the achievements of the course.  The Chief Guest stressed on the invaluable role played by FIS in training Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIs) who are instrumental in producing pilots who meet the desired standards for their organization.  These QFIs would thereafter carry the responsibility of guiding newly inducted trainee pilots in consonance with the long term vision of the IAF.

The QFIC is a gruelling 25-week package. It encompasses nine phases of flying training and over 192 hours of ground training.  The training of 139th QFIC commenced on 01 Jun 2015.  A total of 52 officers graduated on 20 Nov 2015. These included 48 officers of the Indian Air Force, one from Indian Army and three from Indian Navy.  The Valedictory Function marked the culmination of the efforts of the trainees and staff of FIS.  Graduates of the Course were awarded the coveted symbol of 'Qualified Flying Instructor' which they can now wear proudly on their uniforms.  The pilots who achieved distinction in flying and ground subjects were awarded the following trophies:-

Friday, November 20, 2015

Indian Air Force (IAF) Winds Up Relief & Rescue Operations in Flood Hit Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh

Indian Air Force (IAF) Winds up Relief and Rescue Operations in Flood Hit Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

The Indian Air Force once again proved it mettle by responding immediately to the task of carrying out rescue and relief operations after incessant rains that affected Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Due to heavy continuous rains, water in large quantity entered the residential areas, affecting more than 5000 families.

A total of 25 sorties were flown towards the rescue and relief operations in which 5000 Kgs of load was air dropped and 25 stranded people were rescued. IAF helicopters operated in the marginal weather to drop relief material and rescue the affected people especially women, infants and senior citizens. The sorties were flown around Chennai, where low lying areas were completely submerged and around Tirupathi and Nellore areas in Andhra Pradesh.

Since the water has receded and the rains have stopped, flood relief operations by the IAF have been called off by the state authorities.

Award of President’s Standard To IAF's No. 18 Squadron & No. 22 Squadron

The President of India and the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will be awarding the prestigious President’s Standard to     No. 18 Squadron and No. 22 Squadron, in a grand ceremonial parade, scheduled to be held at Air Force Station, Hasimara on 28 Nov 2015.  Group Captain KJ Singh, Commanding Officer of No. 18 Squadron and Group Captain Sandeep Singh Commanding Officer of No. 22 Squadron, will receive the President’s Standards.

The Governor of West Bengal, Raksha Mantri and Raksha Rajya Mantri are also expected to grace the Ceremony on 28 Nov 2015.  Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vayusena Medal,  Aide-de-Camp,     Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Marshal C Hari Kumar Vayusena Medal,  Vishisht Seva Medal, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal BBP Sinha  Ati Vishisht Seva Medal,                       Air Officer-in-charge Administration,   along with other senior Defence and Civilian officials would witness the ceremony.

18 Squadron AF was formed at Ambala on 15 April 1965 with five Gnat aircraft and eleven pilots under the command of Wg Cdr AL Michael.  The Squadron is endowed with a rich history and a formidable operational legacy.  The Squadron took on the role of the ‘Defenders of Kashmir Valley’ during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and carried out extensive flying towards escort duties and also mounted a near continuous day time Combat Air Patrol.     On 14 December 1971, fighting bravely & valiantly, alone in his Gnat, against PAF Sabres, Flying Officer NJS Sekhon laid down his life. He was decorated posthumously with the highest gallantry award of the nation, the     ‘PARAM VIR CHAKRA’ for sublime heroism, supreme gallantry, flying skill and determination above and beyond the call of duty displayed in the face of certain death.  18 Squadron remains the only Squadron of the IAF with a          PVC awardee.   The Squadron operated an improved version of Gnat ‘The Ajeet’ from May 1980 onwards.  In 1981, Sqn Ldr Rahul Dhar was awarded         ‘SHAURYA CHAKRA’ for carrying out a dead stick landing after an engine seizure. The Squadron bid farewell to ‘Ajeets’ in December 1988 at Bagdogra.The Squadron was resurrected at Hindon with the formidable MiG-27 ML aircraft in June 1989, thus entering the supersonic era. In 1996 the Squadron moved from Hindon to Kalaikunda and soon after it was designated as the first dedicated Night Strike Squadron of IAF. In January 2010, Flt Lt M Arora was awarded ‘SHAURYA CHAKRA’ for recovering an aircraft after a canopy burst at an altitude of 10.5 km during a supersonic run, despite grievous injuries and hostile environmental conditions in the cockpit. The Squadron has also participated in several international exercises at Kalaikunda with the French Air Force,    United States’ Air Force, Royal Singapore Air Force and  Royal Air Force. The Squadron remains the only MiG-27ML Squadron to carry out heavy armament drop at DM range by night.  In the year 2013, the Unit was entrusted with the task of banner target towing for air to air firing and on 19 September 2014 the Squadron finally moved to its present location, Hasimara. Since its inception, the ‘Flying Bullets’ have received           three Shaurya Chakras,  one Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry),  nine Vayu Sena Medals and four Mention-in-Dispatches in addition to the Param Vir Chakra awarded to                        Flying Officer NJS Sekhon.

22 Squadron Air Force, then called as the ‘Hell’s Angels’ was raised on      15 Oct 1966 at Air Force Station Bareilly as the eighth Gnat Squadron of the IAF.          In December 1969, the Squadron moved to Kalaikunda where it was tasked for Air Defence Role during the 1971 war.  Here, the Squadron drew first blood for IAF by shooting down three intruding F-86 Sabre jets in a single four aircraft mission on     22 Nov 71.  Thus the ‘Hell’s Angels’ found a special niche in the history of Indian Aerial Combat when they proved their mettle as the most successful and destructive fighter Squadron of the IAF in the 1971 War.  For its daring, the Squadron was        re-christened as the ‘Sabre Slayers’. All three pilots who shot down the F-86 Sabres; Flt Lt MA Ganapathy, Flt Lt RA Massey and Fg Offr D Lazarus, were awarded Vir Chakras.  The Squadron was awarded Battle Honours during the Indo Pak conflict of 1971 for “Air Offensive for Liberation of Bangladesh”. In  April 1986, the Squadron received its official crest and was renamed as ‘SWIFTS’, the Squadron motto being “COURAGE TRIUMPHS”. In February 1990, the Squadron converted onto the   MiG-27 ML aircraft at Hasimara.  The Squadron was deployed for Op Vijay in 1999 and for Op Parakram in 2001-02.  On 08 August 2001, ‘SWIFTS’ became the first fighter Squadron to land at Lengpui airfield in Mizoram.  The Squadron was relocated to Kalaikunda in the year 2012, but moved back to Hasimara in August 2014.  In the recent years, the Squadron has won various air to ground gunnery competition trophies and has participated in various international exercises with foreign Air Forces thus remaining at the forefront of professional excellence. The number of honours and awards which have been bestowed on the unit and its personnel bear a testimony to this fact. The Squadron continues to render yeoman service to the nation in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Indian Navy Gets New Asst Chief For Communication Space and Network Centric Operation

Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh Assumes Charge as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Communication Space and Network Centric Operation) 

Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh has assumed charge as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Communication Space and Network Centric Operation) on promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral on 19 November 2015. The post was created in 2013 to accord focus to the Indian Navy’s drive towards networked operations and utilisation of space-based assets. 

He is the second officer to hold the post and takes over from Rear Admiral Kishan K Pandey who has moved as the Flag Officer Fleet Review, in charge of planning for the forthcoming prestigious International Fleet Review to be hosted by the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam in February 2016. 

Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh is a third-generation armed forces officer. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, he always excelled during training. Adjudged as the Best Naval Cadet at NDA, he was awarded the Binoculars as the Best Sea Cadet and the coveted Sword of Honour as a Midshipman. Commissioned on 01 July 1986, the officer is a specialist in Navigation and Direction course, which he topped, in 1992. He also underwent the Advanced Command and Staff Course at UK, in 2000, where he was the Best Overseas Student amongst Army, Navy and Air-Force officers from 47 countries. He has also undergone the Naval Higher Command Course at Naval War College, Mumbai, and the National Security Strategy Course at the National Defence College, Delhi. 

He has held a range of command, training and staff appointments, and has served on most classes of ships of the Indian Navy. His sea command appointments include command of the ASW and UAV-control frigate INS Taragiri, where he was awarded the Nao Sena Medal for his high performance, and the multi-role frigate INS Trishul. His training appointments include officer-in-charge of the Local Work Up Team, responsible for Operational Sea Training of ships, and the Navigation Direction School, his alma mater. In his staff appointments, he has served as the Joint Director of Personnel, Indian Naval Attaché at Iran, Principal Director of Naval Operations and, till recently, the Principal Director Strategy, Concepts and Transformation, wherein he was responsible for drafting the revised Indian Maritime Security Strategy and the Strategic Guidance to Transformation, both of which were released recently. 

A keen swimmer and avid reader, he has written regularly on defence and strategic issues. He was earlier the lead drafter for the Indian Navy’s Maritime Doctrine, for which he was awarded Commendation by the Chief of the Naval Staff. He has completed several post graduate study programmes, including MA (History) and MPHIL (Arts) from Mumbai University, MA (Defence Studies) from Kings College, London, and MSc and MHIL (Defence and Strategic Studies) from Madras University. He is married to Zarine Lord Singh, a former leading fashion model and successful home-maker, who comes from a family of acclaimed musicians. The couple have two children. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Indo-Russian Joint Military Exercise Indra-2015 Culminates

Joint Indo-Russian Military Exercise INDRA-2015 culminated in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges of Rajasthan on 18 Nov 2015.  The final stage of the exercise was held at the Mahajan training range during which the consolidated group of forces of the two countries, acting under the auspices of United Nations, assisted the government of a third country in combating armed terrorists in a semi-urban terrain.  During the conduct of the joint exercise, it was noted that there is great commonality in our approach and views to deal with such challenges.

After two weeks of intense and exacting military training, the Joint Exercise finally concluded with a closing ceremony, wherein both the contingents showcased their immense talents with unique traditional touches.

INDRA-2015, the Indo-Russian joint tactical exercise began on 08 November.  The two countries’ contingents conducted focussed training and strived to understand the functioning of each other.  Inter-operability procedures were high on the agenda for both the Armies.  The exercise also provided a unique opportunity to both the Armies to share experiences and strengthen mutual trust and co-operation

Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar Takes Over As Flag Officer Tamil Nadu & Puducherry Naval Area

Commodore Alok Bhatnagar, Naval Officer-in-Charge (Tamil Nadu & Puducherry) has taken over as Flag Officer Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area on promotion to rank of Rear Admiral today, 18 November 2015.  Till now, an officer in the rank of Commodore was the senior most Naval Officer in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. This post has been elevated to Flag Officer and Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar will be the first Naval Officer to occupy the newly created billet.

Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar is an alumnus of the 66th Course of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, having graduated in May 1984. At sea, the officer has served on 14 different ships in various capacities. The officer has commanded IN TRV A71 (a Torpedo Recovery Vessel), INS Prahar (an indigenously built Missile Boat), INS Kulish (an indigenously built Missile Corvette) and INS Jalashwa (a Landing Platform Dock).

Major shore appointments of the Flag Officer include Director Naval Plans at Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy), Naval Attache in Washington DC and Principal Director International Fleet Review at IHQ MoD (Navy), New Delhi.

Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the College of Naval Warfare, Karanja. The Flag Officer holds degrees of MSc (Defence Studies) from University of Madras and M.Phil from Mumbai University. He was commended by the Chief of the Naval Staff in 2002 and awarded Nao Sena Medal for Devotion to Duty in 2010.

Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar, a keen golfer and yachtsman, is married and has two sons.

Indian Army's Flood Relief Ops On In Chennai

On 17 Nov 15 two Army Flood Relief Columns carried out extensive rescue and relief operations at Tambaram and Mudichur areas in Chennai. The rescue teams succeeded in bringing over 2500 marooned civilians to safety and provided relief material including food and water. Additionally, 474 patients were evacuated from two civil hospitals, Miot and Global Hospital and over 200 persons were provided medical assistance by Army Medical Teams.

Having addressed critical areas yesterday, the Army columns are presently on standby for any adverse contingencies.

Southern Air Command Annual Aerospace Council Meeting Held At Air Force Station Sulur

Southern Air Command Annual Aerospace Council Meeting was held at Air Force Station Sulur today. The purpose of the meeting was to keep abreast of current trends in Aerospace Safety and Accident Investigation through meaningful interaction between major stake holders. Avian Hazards in airfield due to bird activity in southern peninsula and operations in the An-32, MI-17, and HAL built ALH Sarang aerobatic display helicopters were covered.

Aerospace Safety Meeting being an important annual feature, provided a forum for exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences in the field of aviation safety for the benefit not only of the participants, but also all other operators/maintenance crew in the Indian Air Force. Live streaming of the entire event was carried out on Air Force net for viewership across Air Force.

The meeting was chaired by Air Marshal Jasbir Walia Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Air Command. It was attended by Air Marshal KP Nair Director General (Inspection and Safety), senior officers of Air Headquarter, Headquarter Southern Air Command (SAC) and other Commands. The inaugural address was delivered by Air Marshal PN Pradhan Senior Air Staff Officer SAC.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Indian Army Special Forces (21 Para) Martyr Defied Family Tradition Of Selling Milk To Join Army - R.I.P.

Colonel Santosh Mahadik,  21 Para SF, Commanding Officer of 41 RR fell to the bullets of Pakistani terrorists, today in Kupwara J&K and made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, leading from the front.

'Santoo' for coursemates, leaves behind 2 children, son - 7 years old and daughter- 4 years old. Mahadik was from Sainik School Satara. His coursemates remember him as an excellent sportsman, who defied his family tradition of selling milk and joined the Army.

"Right from our school days this crazy like a bull guy always spoke of supreme sacrifice . The son of a small town milkman, with absolute humble background, defying family traditions of selling milk, joined Sainik School Satara unlike his other siblings. Calm in composure, gentle in demeanor, carried a storm in his heart. Best Boxer of the school, Goal Keeper of School's State Champion football team and maniac like runner, always had a smile on his face when he worked out hard in gym. More he sweated, wider was the beam."

"Before one of the finals of the boxing bout I told him “ Santoo, you might be a good boxer but I am going to beat you this time”. He just smiled at me. I lost the bout to him. When I congratulated him in presence of his father who had come to witness the final bout telling him “ you saved your Medal buddy “. His father said “this is not the great fight of my son. His real fight will be on the borders protecting this nation and my son will always be victorious”. The class XI boy I was had not much idea about borders and army operations then. But brimming warrior like smile on Santoo’s face gave a impression to me that his father spoke Santoo’s heart out . Today on 17 Nov 2015 , Santoo fought and fought like a true warrior. He laid his life in supreme sacrifice for this great nation making his father and all of us more proud of him than ever. Reminiscences of his smile reverberating in our minds that “ he will always be victorious”.

Repatriation Of 126 Indian Fishermen From Sri Lanka By Indian Coast Guard

Indian Coast Guard repatriated 126 Indian fishermen today who were apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy for fishing in Sri Lankan waters. On approval of Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Coast Guard deployed two ships for repatriation from two different places, viz Kankesanthurai and Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka. Indian Coast Guard advanced offshore patrol vessel "Sagar" took over 78 released Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan Naval/Coast Guard vessels at IMBL off Kankesanthurai and brought to Karaikal. The other Coast Guard ship "Rajkamal" took over 48 released Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan Naval/Coast Guard vessels at IMBL off Thalaimannar and brought to Rameshwaram.

Considering the eagerness of Indian fishermen returning  back to India, the Indian Coast Guard swiftly undertook repatriation despite inclement weather and safely handed over all 126 fishermen to AD (Fisheries) Rameshwaram and Karaikal.All fishermen reported to be healthy. Coast Guard ships provided all required assistance to repatriated fishermen. It may be noted that Indian fishermen have been regularly advised by the Indian Coast Guard not to cross IMBL for the sake of their own safety and welfare and also not to indulge in any kind of illegal activities.

Indian Coast Guard, Indian Army & Indian Navy Join Flood Relief Ops In Chennai

Indian Coast Guard :

The Indian Coast Guard launched relief operations in the flood affected areas of Chennai yesterday. An initial sortie was undertaken by the ICG helo in the afternoon of Nov 16 2015, to assess the ground situation. Further sortiees could not be undertaken due to incessant rains and poor visibility.

Subsequently two helicopter sorties were undertaken this morning and approximately 500 kg of relief material comprising bread, biscuits and drinking water supplied by the State govt was air dropped in the areas around Tambaram where people were seen stranded due to floods.  The Coast Guard helicopters are kept stand-by to augment the relief efforts. Further as required by the State govt, the Indian Coast Guard has been deploying its assets at sea for rescue of fishermen and their boats in distress. Along the Tamil Nadu and Andhra coast during the ongoing monsoons and have stood by them fully committed in times of need.

Indian Army, IAF & Navy :

Two columns of Army teams along with Medical teams and boats deployed for the relief and rescue operation in flood affected areas since last evening in Chennai and Kanchipuram Districts on request of District Collectors. 450 people were evacuated so far and food packets distributed to the stranded people. column 1 launched at Theradi Steet and column 2 launched at Samathaperiyar Nagar near Mudichur and Tambaram.

Indian Air Force teams also in action today.

Naval Officer in Charge Tamilnadu and Puducherry called for a press meet at 12.30 pm today regarding Flood relief Operations.

Flood Relief Operations in Chennai 

Heavy rains have lashed Chennai and surrounding areas for past one week. Due to these torrential rains several areas in and around Chennai have got flooded and inundated. 

Tamil Nadu State Government requisitioned the Army in the evening of 16 Nov 2015 for conduct of Flood Relief Operations. Immediately, one flood relief column, with six Boat Assault Universal Type (BAUTS) and two Out Board Motors (OBM) was activated and deployed by 2115h from the Garrison Infantry Battalion located at Chennai. At 0600h on 17 Nov 15 the second column was deployed. 

Both Columns are carrying out relief operations at Tambaram and Mudichur areas in Chennai. Till 1600h on 17 Nov 15, the columns had rescued approximately 882 civilians and distributed 350 food packets and water bottles. In addition a medical team has provided first aid and medical assistance to about 200 persons. Assistance was also provided to two civil hospitals (Miot and Global Hospital) for shifting of patients. The relief operations are in progress.