Friday, August 31, 2018

Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri reaches Darwin, Australia for Exercise KAKADU 2018

Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri reaches Darwin, Australia for exercise KAKADU 2018

 After having been deployed to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean for over four months, which included representing Indian Navy in multinational exercises MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at Hawaii, INS Sahyadri entered the Port of Darwin, Australia on 29 Aug 18 to participate in Exercise KAKADU 2018.

Exercise KAKADU, which started in 1993, is the premier multilateral regional maritime engagement exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).The exercise is held biennially in Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA). Exercise KAKADU derives its name from Kakadu National Park, which is a protected area in the northern territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin. KAKADU 2018, the 14th edition of the exercise, is scheduled from 29 Aug – 15 Sep 18 and would see participation from 23 warships, one submarine, 45 aircraft, 250 marines and approx 52 foreign staff from over 25 different countries.

Indian Navy’s participation in KAKADU 18 provides an excellent opportunity to engage with regional partners and undertake multinational maritime activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment, aimed at enhancing interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime operations. During the exercise, professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations would enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills.

At the helm of INS Sahyadri is Captain Shantanu Jha, who is assisted by a team of professional and highly motivated men of the Indian Navy. Participation in KAKADU 18 is a significant milestone in Indian Navy’s efforts towards strengthening mutual confidence among regional navies and is expected to further bolster India’s contribution in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

National Integration Tour J&K students meet VCOAS

A group of 20 students comprising of 10 Boys and 10 Girls, accompanied by two teachers from the Degree Colleges at Gurez, Tangdhar & Kupwara on National Integration Tour visited Delhi and interacted with Lieutenant General D Anbu, Vice Chief of the Army Staff on 30 August 2018. The Vice Chief of the Army Staff shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation Building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.       
The National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.

INS Teg Lends Assistance to MV Vela in the Gulf of Aden

On 25 Aug 18, whilst patrolling in the piracy infested waters of Gulf of Aden, INS Teg, a warship of the Western Naval Command, received a call from a Combined Task Force aircraft for providing assistance to MV Vela, a Norwegian owned ship with an all Indian crew. The vessel was in distress as her Port Anchor along with the entire 330 mtrs cable weighing approx 42 tons had inadvertently slipped and was hanging into the sea. This had severely disabled the ship with her speed being restricted to 5-6 knots, thus making her vulnerable to piracy attacks, apart from being a navigational hazard for herself as well as for other ships in the dense shipping corridor.

INS Teg quickly dispatched a specialist team to carry out an assessment of the situation and provided assistance for recovery of the anchor and cable. The team was lead by the ship’s Engineering Officer and comprised the other specialist officers, Seamanship Instructor, Anchor Chain Cable Specialist and Machinery Specialist. 

Concerted efforts over three days finally resulted in the successful recovery of the anchor alongwith the entire 330 m of cable. This evolution not only ensured onward safe voyage of MV Vela, which had to subsequently transit through the constricted waters of Red Sea and Suez Canal, but also averted huge financial loss.

MV Vela and the Combined Task Force were quick to express their gratitude to the ship and the Indian Navy via emails:

Mails received from various agencies:


“Your concern and commitment for safety of life at sea is well noted and your efforts in reaching out to fellow mariners in emergency at sea, keeping aside committed voyage is conforming to the best maritime traditions; worth emulating by other mariners. I hereby convey my sincere appreciation for your concern at sea and in GoA area, and efforts to provide assistance. I am very sure that under your able command and with such energetic crew, MV Vela salute to the Indian Navy”

“Kindly note vessel MV Vela thanking you sincerely on behalf of our owners SEVEN SEA SA, NORWAY and Fleet Management Limited, Hong Kong.

I hereby convey my sincere appreciation for your concern at and efforts to provide assistance by your Commanding Officer and staff for retrieving the anchor on 28 Aug 18. MV Vela salute to the Indian Navy.”


“Our thanks to the INS TEG crew for the proactiveness in responding to the MV Vela situation.”

Rehabilitation and Community Outreach Measures Announced by Chief of the Naval Staff

Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee  (COSC) and Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) visited Muttinakam village in VarapuzhaPanchayat of Ernakulam district today to review relief and rehabilitation work in this locality which was ravaged during the recent Kerala floods. The CNS was accompanied by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC), MrsReenaLanba, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) and MrsSapanaChawla, President NWWA(Southern Region).      AdmLanba also interacted with Adv VD Satheesan, MLA of Paravur, Shri S Sharma, MLA of Vypin, Shri Mohammed Safirullah, District Collector Ernakulam and members of Muttinakam village at VarapuzhaPanchayat..Relief materials worth about Rs 25 Lakhs, from NWWA were handed over to the Local Self government officials by President NWWA.

 While addressing the gathering CNS emphasised that all naval personnel including himself were connected with Kerala by an umbilical cord with the “Janamabhumi” as all personnel are trained under the SNC based at Kochi prior to becoming fullfledged naval personnel, and reiterated that he had been closely monitoring the situation over these past several days and that the Navy had deployed its personnel and assets from across the Navy during the crisis and that the focus now is on relief activities.

CNS further said that Indian Navy has selectedtwo localities based on inputs received from the local administration and visits by naval officials wherein Rehabilitation initiatives were proposed to be undertaken to restore the area. The shortlisted localities where Navy intended to carry out reconstruction works wereMuttinakam in VarapuzhaPanchayat and CheriyaKadamakudi in KadamakudiPanchayat. 

 The activities in Muttinakam

Reconstruction of a completely damaged house on the river bank.

Complete renovation of the Sub primary health centre (PHC)and Anganwadialong with furniture, equipment, play equipment and other essential equipment.

The activities in Cheriya Kadamakudi
Reconstruction of 03 houses
Renewal of roof of 05 other houses
Construction of an Anganwadi
fitment of a 10 tonnes per day Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant to meet the drinking water requirements of the people in the region (which has already been completed and operational for the general public since 28 Aug 18)

 Rehabilitation kits (800 for Muttinakam and 500 for Cheriyakadmakkudi) containing essential commodities such as clothing, cleaning gear and utensils etc. were distributed on the occasion. Additionally, some other requirementsincluding the construction of a bridge connectingPizhala island to CheriyaKadamakudihamlet would also be considered and the feasibility explored.       

CNS has directed SNC to coordinate the rehabilitation activities on behalf of the Navy. CNS would also be meeting the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala on 30 Aug 18to discuss any further support required from the Navy to overcome the situation. CNS would also be handing  over a cheque of Rs8.9 Crore to CM Disaster Relief Fund as a voluntary contribution fromthe salaries of navalpersonnel.

Closing Ceremony Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018

The SCO Peace Mission Exercise 2018 culminated on 29 August 2018 after days of joint training amongst multinational forces of eight SCO nations. In the joint multinational exercise which began on 24 Aug 2018 the SCO nations conducted training focused on combating terrorism.

After intense military training, the joint exercise concluded with multinational forces exhibiting their combat power and dominance over the extremist groups in simulated realistic situation. The closing ceremony showcased the immense talent and unique military ethos of all the member nations. The closing ceremony was conducted at the drill ground of 255th Inter Services Firing Ranges, Chebarkul, Russia. The senior officials expressed great satisfaction with high standards achieved in the exercise.         

In this fifth edition of SCO Peace Mission Exercise where India participated for the first time, the focus was on conduct of counter terrorist operations in a multinational joint service environment. The exercise provided an opportunity to armies of all nations for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust & cooperation. Overall SCO Peace Mission Exercise will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect amongst SCO member nations in future.

Raksha Mantri Visits Kingdom of Thailand 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is on an official bilateral visit to the Kingdom of Thailand from 27 to 28 August 2018. Raksha Mantri held bilateral talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of ThailandHis Excellency Gen. PrawitWongsuwon in Bangkok, today. She also called on Prime Minister of Thailand His Excellency Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha.

During the meetings, both sides discussed a gamut of issues relating to defence cooperation between India and Thailand. The Ministers welcomed the positive momentum and substantive content of ongoing bilateral defence engagement and discussed measures to further enhance and deepen defence cooperation between India and Thailand.

It was decided to step up military-to-military engagement by commencing bilateral navy exercises. In addition, both countries will explore enhancement of ongoing joint exercises, the MAITREE counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism Army Exercise as well as their SIAM BHARAT Air Force exercise. Both sides would also expand cooperation on maritime security, focussing on greater sharing of information to develop Maritime Domain Awareness. Raksha Mantri offered additional training opportunities for the Royal Thai Army in India, including through tailor made courses in specialised areas, which was welcomed by Thailand.

The Ministers also discussed stepping up defence industry and R&D cooperation. The two sides identified specific areas for such engagement and would discuss this further through institutionalised dialogue mechanisms.

Raksha Mantri and the Thai leadership also discussed regional security developments. Both sides noted complementarities in their approaches to the Indo-Pacific region and decided to hold regular consultations on issues of mutual interest.

Raksha Mantri welcomed Thailand’s forthcoming Chairmanship of ASEAN and as the ASEAN country coordinator for India, which would create additional pathways for engagement between India and Thailand, including under the ADMM Plus framework. In this context, the Defence Minister of Thailand welcomed India’s initiative to host the inaugural BIMSTEC Army Exercise and Conclave of Chiefs in India in September 2018 and confirmed Thailand’s participation.

DAC Approves Procurement for Services amounting to Nearly Rs. 46,000 Crores 

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Hon’ble Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, met on 25 Aug 2018 and accorded approval for procurement for the Services amounting to approximately Rs. 46,000 crores.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in a landmark decision today, approved procurement of 111 Utility Helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs. 21,000 crores.  This is the first project under the MoD’s prestigious Strategic Partnership (SP) Model that aims at providing significant fillip to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. SP Model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEM, acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the Country. The model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment thus enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces. The contract when finalised, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread Defence industrial eco-system in the Indian Aviation Sector with the Private Industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders.

In further quest for modernisation of the Armed forces the DAC also granted approval to a few other proposals amounting to approximately Rs. 24,879.16 crores, which included approval for procurement of 150 numbers of Indigenously Designed and Developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,364.78 crores. These guns have been indigenously designed & developed by DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies, as nominated by DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of Artillery in the near future. A nod to these major schemes will provide a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ push by the Government, will help create self-reliance in the Country in Defence manufacturing sector and has the potential of making the Defence Industry as a major engine of India’s economic growth.

To enhance the capability of Navy at sea, approval has also been granted for procurement of Anti-Submarine capable, 24 in number Multi Role Helicopters, which are an integral part of the frontline warships like the Aircraft Carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Availability of MRH with the Navy would plug the existing capability gap.

In addition, procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems was also cleared by the DAC. Of these, 10 systems will be indigenously developed. These systems will boost the self-defence capability of ships against Anti-Ship Missiles. 

DR G. SATHEESH REDDY Takes over as Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO

Dr. G Satheesh Reddy took over the charge of Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, here today. 

Dr. Reddy is a renowned missile scientist known for his significant contributions towards indigenous design, development, deployment of diversified Missiles & Strategic Systems, Guided Weapons, Avionics Technologies. He has contributed towards advancement of Aerospace Technologies & Industries in India.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Distinguished Scientist and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister (SA to RM) to the post of Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

A Profile

 Dr Satheesh Reddy is well known for his significant contributions towards indigenous design, development, deployment of diversified Missiles & Strategic Systems, Guided Weapons, Avionics technologies and for sustained efforts in advancement of Aerospace technologies & Industries in India.

He graduated in Electronics and Communication Engineering from JNTU, Anantapur and received his M.S & Ph.D from JNTU Hyderabad. He joined Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in the year 1986 and subsequently joined Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the brain child of Dr Kalam, after its formation. From a young navigation scientist and System Manager he rose steadily and after his multiple significant appointments and decades of sustained contributions to Defence R&D, was elevated as Distinguished Scientist in Sep 2014 and was appointed as Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister in May 2015.

He holds the distinction of being inducted as Fellow of Royal Institute of Navigation (FRIN), London, Royal Aeronautical Society, UK (FRAeS) and Foreign Member of the Academy of Navigation & Motion Control, Russia. He is an Honorary Fellow of CSI & Project Management Association of India, Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, IET (UK), Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, USA and many other Academies/scientific bodies in the country and abroad. For his distinguished contributions, Dr Satheesh received several prestigious international and national awards which includes the Indian Science Congress Association Homi J. Bhabha Memorial Gold Medal, National Aeronautical Prize, National Design Award, National Systems Gold Medal, the first IEI-IEEE (USA) joint award for Engineering Excellence and was conferred with the Silver Medal of Royal Aeronautical Society, London. He is also a recipient of Dr Biren Roy Space Science Design Award, Astronautical Society of India Rocketry & Related technologies Award and has been conferred with Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Science by many leading Universities in the country.

As SA to RM, significantly contributed towards the formulation of many national policies and pivotal in evolving roadmap for self-sufficiency in Missiles. As Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems (DG, MSS), he spearheaded Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex Laboratories - ASL, DRDL and RCI, ITR, TBRL & other technical facilities. He led the design and development of a wide range of tactical and strategic missile systems to attain complete self-sufficiency in Missiles and initiated many new projects to equip Armed forces with state-of-the-art weapons and technologies. He invigorated the BMD programme and developed the mission critical technologies for Long Range Agni-5 missile. As Director, RCI, he led many Programmes, Projects and steered the development of indigenous RF and IIR Seekers. As Programme Director, successfully developed the Medium Range SAMs and achieved a streak of successes in the maiden missions. As Project Director, developed the country’s first 1000kg class Guided Bomb and laid foundation for Long Range Smart Guided Weapons. He is a renowned Navigation expert and as Project Director and Technology Director, steered the design and development of indigenous Inertial Sensors, SatNav Receivers, advanced Inertial Navigation Systems for a variety of defence applications including the Ship Navigation.

There have been some reports in the mainstream and social media regarding the visit of the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri (RM) to Kodagu district in Karnataka stating that the RM got angry with the district incharge minister of Kodagu Mr Sa Ra Mahesh during the flood review being taken with the district administration. These reports have also quoted the district incharge minister who has made certain personal remarks against the RM. The remarks have also lowered the dignity of the upper house of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and show utter lack of regard and knowledge about the Indian Polity.

In order to clarify the matter, it is imperative that a detailed account of the sequence of events is brought out. The tour program of the RM was finalised by the district administration of Kodagu in consultation with the public representatives. This program was approved and circulated to all concerned two days prior to RM's arrival.  Subsequently, on the request of the district administration, an interaction with the veterans was added to the schedule.

On completion of the field visits, as per the program, RM was interacting with ex-servicemen who had been adversely affected by the floods, when the District incharge minister objected and insisted that meeting with the officials be conducted first. RM clarified that welfare of ex-servicemen was an essential part of the Ministry of Defence and the same was scheduled in the program. However, the district minister insisted that the RM immediately stop the interaction and proceed to the meeting with the officials.

While it was extremely unfortunate, in order to avoid the situation from deteriorating, RM immediately halted the meeting and proceeded to the venue of the meeting with the officials. The venue was already set up for the press conference and hurriedly the officials were summoned to sit among the mediapersons for the review. It was unprecedented to hold a meeting with the officials, with all the mediapersons present.

The RM then heard the grievances of the waiting ex-servicemen. Inspite of district administration finalising the program and RM following the same in its entirety it is unfortunate that the minister behaved the way he did.  Subsequently, the personal remarks made against the RM were also in bad taste, which do not merit a response.

It has also been noted that there has been gross misrepresentation with regard to the use of the term ‘parivar’ by the RM during the press conference. One of the four departments of the Ministry of Defence is the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare and in that context it was stated that all ex-servicemen are part of the MoD ‘parivar’. Any other inference is misconstrued and uncalled for.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Opening Ceremony Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018

Opening Ceremony Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018

Exercise Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018, the latest in 'Peace Mission' series formally started on 24 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Russia. The opening ceremony was conducted in Chebarkul, Russia with military contingents of the all eight SCO member nations participating in this exercise. The contingents were addressed by        Lieutenant General Alexander Pavlovich Lapin, Chief Commander Central Military District, Russia. The formal parade by military contingents was performed at the camp location of Combined Arms Range in Chebarkul, Russia.

The exercise will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of SCO nations to train in counter terrorism operations in urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment.  The scope of the exercise includes professional interaction, mutual understanding of drills & procedures, establishment of joint command and control structures and elimination of terrorist threat in urban counter terrorist scenario.

The Russian Army has the major participation of 1700 personnel followed by China with 700 & India with 200 personnel. The SCO Peace Mission Exercise is one of the major defense cooperation initiatives amongst SCO nations and will be a landmark event in the history of SCO defence cooperation.

Commissioning ceremony of first batch of BSC nursing college of nursing, army hospital (R&R)

Commissioning ceremony of the First Batch of BSc nursing students, College  of  Nursing was held  here today.

Commandant, Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi Cantt Lt Gen U K Sharma addressing as the Chief Guest urged upon the newly commissioned nursing officers to nurture the ethics of Military Nursing Service and to serve the nation with competence and valour. He advised the new Lieutenants to keep abreast with the latest developments in the field of medicine and nursing and to care the sick soldiers with devotion, dedication and compassion. Lt Gen Sharma also congratulated the newly commissioned nursing officers and their proud parents. Addl DGMNS Maj Gen Annakutty Babu delivered an inspirational speech  to  the newly commissioned Nursing Officers.

Principal Matron, Army Hospital (R&R) Maj Gen Kajal Chakraborty, welcomed the dignitaries and Principal, College of Nursing Col Arnita Devrani delivered the batch   report. During the ceremony the 30 young nursing students were commissioned as Lieutenants into the Military Nursing Services and were posted to various Armed Forces Hospitals. Lt Arunima GP and Lt Dixeena OA   were awarded Commandants Silver medal for securing First and Second position respectively in the batch.  The Best All Round Student Trophy was awarded to Lt Arunima GP and Lt Lata Kumari was adjudged as the Best Clinical Nurse.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

IAF Contingent Returns to India on Completion of Ex Pitch Black 2018

Ex Pitch Black, a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise was hosted by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from 24 Jul 18 to 18 Aug 18 in Darwin, Australia. After successful participation, IAF contingent de-inducted from Australia and in the return leg carried out a bilateral exercise with Royal Malaysian

Air Force from 20 - 22 Aug 18 at Subang Air Base, Malaysia.  

The exercise encompassed interactions, discussions & exchange sorties with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). The RMAF crew flew in the IAF Su-30MKI & IAF crew got an opportunity to fly in RMAF Su-30 MKM aircraft. This was the first time that both the forces had come together and undertook flying operations. The C-130 crew of IAF & RMAF also interacted with each other and shared various operating methodology and good practices. 

On completion of the exercise, the IAF team comprising of 145 air-warriors, 04 X Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130J and 01 X C-17 landed on the Indian soil on 23 August 18. IAF’s participation in Ex Pitch Black along with bilateral exercises with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Force provided an excellent opportunity to all the participants to operate in a multinational environment and take home some of the best practices followed by Air forces around the world. High serviceability of assets and professionalism of IAF personnel during five weeks exercise with Air Forces of 16 different nations won accolades and appreciation from all the participants.

Indian Navy Seeks to Induct Newer and Advanced Technologies

An exclusive interaction session was organized by the Indian Navy with Professor Emeritus Commodore Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj (Retd) from Stanford University at Kota House on 22 August 2018.

Hosted by Vice Admiral GS Pabby, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel and all the technical Flag Officers stationed at New Delhi, some of the retired officers who have held important assignments in the Navy and DRDO, and those involved with scientific and Defence R&D also attended this interaction. 

Professor Paulraj is a global icon in wireless technology and inventor of MIMO, which is the heart of the current high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems. He is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2010 besides top global honours - the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 2011, the prestigious 2014 Marconi Society Prize and has been inducted into the US Patent Trademark Office National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2018. 

On the discussions to enhance self-reliance of Indian defence in critical advanced technologies, Commodore Paulraj brought out the need to invest much more in R&D sectors, including design and fabrication, artificial intelligence, block chain and quantum computing. He spoke of requirement of enhanced application-based research in IITs and need for more Indian wireless startups to channelize some of the available good human resource currently working for the global MNCs. A joint meeting is planned with IIT Heads to identify areas for future work by the Indian Navy. Capt Shekhar Dutt, SM, IAS (Retd) former Defence Secretary and Governor of Chhattisgarh, also participated in the interaction and concurred with the sentiments expressed by Paulraj.

Prof AJ Paulraj is currently Chairman of Department of Telecom Steering Committee to deliberate and finalise Vision, Mission, Goals and Roadmaps for 5G India - 2020. His advice is being sought at the highest levels of the Government of India’s Ministries of Communication, Electronics and Information Technology and Defence Production. He regularly interacts with the Boards of top Indian academic institutions and telecommunication corporations.

Flag In of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Car Cum Bike Rally

A Car cum Bike Rally was organised by Headquarters Western  Air Command, IAF from New Delhi to Thoise from 10-23 Aug 18. The rally was flagged off by Air Marshal NJS Dhillon AVSM, Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command New Delhi on 10 Aug 18.The objective of the rally was to promote the Prime Minister’s noble mission of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ amongst tourists and locals enroute.

The team consisting of 12 air warriors was led by Air Vice Marshal AK Singh AVSM VSM, Senior Officer in-charge Administration, Western Air Command. During the span of 15 days, the team travelled from Delhi to Thoise and arrived at New Delhi on 23 Aug 18, a distance of approx 3200 Kms were covered during the journey. The rally had traversed through Ambala, Manali, Jispa and Leh enroute to its final destination at Thoise and back to Delhi via Drass, Kargil, Srinagar, Udhampur and Ambala. Due to unprecedented rainfall and inclement weather condition on Manali-Leh axis, the team had faced great challenges enroute but that did not deter their spirit.

During their journey, the team carried out ‘Swachhta’ Campaigns at Kullu, Manali, Leh, Thoise, Khardungla and Rohtang in order to make the general public aware of the importance of cleanliness. The team also interacted with local populace and tourists, distributed dustbins, pamphlets and installed banners at prominent tourist places. “At places we helped out tourists whose vehicle had broken down and made sure that the message of Swachh Bharat was imbibed in them” said Air Vice Marshal AK Singh, the team leader.

The rally was “flagged in” at Western Air Command, New Delhi, by Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Head Quarter Western Air Command on  23 Aug 18. Air Marshal C Hari Kumar said “I am extremely pleased that the team was able to achieve their objectives and come back safe and sound. It is the constant endeavour of Indian Air Force to promote a spirit of adventure amongst all and imbibe the initiative of the government at grass root level”.

Students from Pattan Meet COAS

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff interacted with the students on National Integration Tour from Pattan, Jammu and Kashmir on  23 August 18. The tour comprised of 20 boys students aged from 18 to 23 years and one teacher. The COAS shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation Building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.

These National Integration Tours are educational and motivational visits to various places of the country aimed to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. Such initiatives will expose youth to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.

India China Defence Ministerial Meet

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman meeting the State Councillor and Defence Minister, People’s Republic of China, General Wei Fenghe, in New Delhi.

Following are the Chinese delegation members.

1. General Wei Fenghe - State Councillor and Defence Minister of China
2. Air Marshal Chang Dingqin - Vice Chiefs of Staff of Joint Staff Department, Central Military Commission (CMC).
3. Lt General rang Guiging - Vice Commander & Chief of Staff of WTC (Western Theatre Command).
4. Major General Hu Changming - Chief of OIMC (Office of international military cooperation), CMC.
5. Major General Li Haiyang - Commander of Southern Xijiang Military District.
6. Major General Li Jun - Director of Secretary Bureau in General office of CMC.
7. Major General Kuang Dewang - VCS (Vice Chief of Staff) of TMC (Tibet Military Command).
8. Senior Colonel Liu Yantong - Deputy Director of Research Bureau in General office of CMC.
9. Senior Colonel Liu Zhongbin - Director of Asia Bureau OIMC , CMC.
10. Colonel Ren Xuefeng - Secretary of General Wei.
11. Colonel Chen Peiling - Deputy Director of Asia Bureau OIMC, CMC.
12. Senior Colonel Ren  Gnoqiand - Deputy Director of Press Bureau MND (Ministry of National Defence).
13. Senior Colonel Yu Shijun - Director, Agency for officers administration CMC.
14. Colonel Wei Zheng - Staff officer of Asia Bureau OIMC, CMC.

Likely discussion was about setting up a hotline between the two DGMOs, since Chinese PLA does not have a proper DGMO, hence Indian Army has demanded, as was decided in Wuhan, that a DGMO equivalent 3-star of Chinese army in headquarters in Beijing be designated, someone who is acceptable to India, instead of a local Commander, as that would be bypassing three equivalent local Commanders in the Indian Army

The other topic discussed was , after Wuhan Summit it was mentioned that no Doklam like incident to be repeated and the armies of both sides should not be surprised like what happened in Doklam. And that the leaders of both countries will give strategic directions to the militaries of their respective countries.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief Operations by IAF in Kerala

HADR Operations by IAF in Kerala 

Many parts of Kerala continue to be affected by landslides and floods. Indian Air Force responded immediately to the crisis in extending all possible assistance to the residents of Kerala through Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) missions. Concerted efforts were made by IAF in rescuing stranded people from the flooded areas. Ladies, children, elderly people and residents were winched from the rooftops of submerged houses to safety by IAF helicopters. Till date, IAF has rescued 663 people. IAF helicopters have also dropped of food and water packets to the stranded people in the affected areas. Transport aircraft from all corners of the country have been flying day and night to ensure relief material is available in the relief camps.

Since yesterday, water has started receding from the flood affected districts. Today, IAF reduced the rescue effort and has increased the relief operations. Till date 974 T of relief material has been airlifted to Kerala state. Medical teams from Southern Air Command and Training Command have been deployed at various places to provide medical assistance. In addition, No 1 Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) has been airlifted from Command Hospital Air Force Bengaluru to Thiruvanathapuram to assist in the medical relief efforts to the residents of Kerala. RAMT has the capability to provide both medical and surgical emergency medical care. Additionally, 119 Doctors with 63 T of medicine and equipment has been airlifted to Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram for further positioning at various medical camps.

Gen. Wei Fenghe, State Councillor and Defence Minister of China calls on PM

Gen. Wei Fenghe, State Councillor and Defence Minister of China, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. 

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the increased momentum of high-level contacts between India and China in all spheres, including in the areas of defence and military exchanges. 

Terming India-China relations as a factor of stability in the world, the Prime Minister said that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is indicative of the sensitivity and maturity with which India and China handle their differences, not allowing them to become disputes.

Prime Minister Modi also warmly recalled his recent meetings with President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, Qingdao and Johannesburg.

Joint Press Statement on the India-Japan Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue

The Defence Minister of Japan Mr. Itsunori Onodera is on a bilateral visit to India at the invitation of the Defence Minister of India Smt Nirmala Sitharaman from 19 to 20 August 2018. The two Ministers held the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting on 20 August 2018 in Delhi. Minister Onodera also called on Prime Minister of India the same day.             

The Ministers noted the fact that Prime Ministers of Japan and India emphasised the significance of defence and security cooperation in enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries in September 2017, and exchanged views and ideas in a constructive and forward-looking manner. The Ministers shared the recognition that it is important for the two countries to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the ‘Japan-lndia Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ that aligns Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ to work together in achieving common objectives.

The Ministers recognised that the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are crucial for ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, and had a frank exchange of views on the current security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, including developments in the Korean Peninsula. The Ministers also welcomed the participation of the Japanese Chief of Staff, Joint Staff in the Raisina Dialogue, the flagship conference supported by the Government of India, as the first participation to the dialogue from the Defence Ministry of Japan.              

 The Ministers reaffirmed that they have shared interests in expanding cooperation in the maritime security domain and welcomed the fact that Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Indian Navy are working towards the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for Deeper Cooperation between the JMSDF and the Indian Navy. With the aim of deepening bilateral cooperation in this domain, the Ministers also reaffirmed their intention to pursue cooperation in engaging with countries of the Indo-Pacific, including through their capacity building.        
 The Ministers noted the regular interactions at all levels of their two defence establishments, and underlined their intention to seek more concrete and effective ground, maritime, and air cooperation and shared the views that they would promote cooperation and exchanges in the following areas:
Institutionalised Dialogue and Mutual Visits 

Annual Defence Ministerial Meeting: The Defence Minister of India will visit Japan in 2019.
Welcoming the first official visit to India by the Japanese Chief of Staff, Joint Staff in 2018, both sides decided to organise the visit by the Chief of Staff, JMSDF to India in November 2018 and the Indian Chief of Air Staff to Japan by the end of 2018. 

Both sides will seek to realise the 7th Defence Vice Minister/Secretary level Defence Policy Dialogue and the 6th Vice Minister/Secretary level ‘2 +2’ dialogue in Tokyo in 2019.

Exchanges between the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) and the Indian Army.

Minister Onodera commended the fact that Indian Army personnel participated as observers in the Japan-U.S. joint bilateral HADR exercise in November 2017 to share lessons learnt from natural disaster experiences.  From the perspective of reinforcing bilateral cooperation and exchanges, the Ministers also welcomed the progress made in preparing for the first-ever bilateral joint exercise in the domain of counter-terrorism between the JGSDF and the Indian Army to be held in the fall of 2018. They reaffirmed their intention to continue cooperation through conduct of exercises.
Exchanges between the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Indian Navy.

The Ministers expressed satisfaction at the success of Japan-India-U.S. Trilateral Maritime Exercise MALABAR 2018 in June 2018 as well as the start of the constructive, trilateral discussion toward the next round of the exercise. 

 The Ministers, noting the significance of bilateral training interactions, emphasised the unprecedented frequency at which JMSDF and the Indian Navy conducted port calls and joint exercises since the last Defence Ministerial Meeting, showing progress in bilateral training cooperation. The Ministers shared the view that they would pursue continuation and sophistication of bilateral joint exercises, including those in areas of anti-submarine warfare and mine-countermeasures.

Exchanges between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force

 The Ministers welcomed the steady expansion of exchanges involving various subject matter experts in the air component, including Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) helicopter crews’ visit to India’s Sarsawa Air Force Station in December 2017. They affirmed JASDF’s participation as observers in the next round of Exercise Cope India to add further momentum to air-to-air exchanges, given the success of the 2nd Air Staff Talks in June 2018. They also expressed their intention to seek further opportunities for air-to-air cooperation through visits of Japanese and Indian air assets to each other’s air bases.

Education and Research Exchanges

The Ministers welcomed the regular exchange of students between the defence educational and research institutions of the two countries, including the National Defence College of India, and the National Institute of Defence Studies of Japan, and reaffirmed that they would continue to do so.
Cooperation in Defence Equipment and Technology

 The Ministers praised various efforts made in the field of bilateral cooperation in defence equipment and technology during the past year, including the progress made in the bilateral discussion of the 4th Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation (JWG-DETC) in Delhi in July 2018 for identifying specific areas of cooperation. The Ministers also noted the effort made by both countries regarding the cooperation on US-2 amphibious aircraft. 

The Ministers welcomed the fact that constructive engagement between the Acquisition, Technology and Logistical Agency (ATLA) of Japan and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India has resulted in the signing of a project arrangement between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of Japan concerning the Cooperative Research in the Area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) /Robotics, marking the start of the first bilateral cooperative project.

The Ministers noted the efforts by relevant authorities of Japan and India in organising the visit of Japanese defence enterprises to Indian defence industries in August 2018 in order to follow up on the first-ever Japan-India Defence Industry Forum in September 2017, and to promote the interaction between public and private sectors, as well as between Japanese and Indian defence industries. The Ministers commended that such efforts contribute to the deepening of mutual understanding between the defence industries of the two countries and to the prospect of future bilateral projects.

 The Ministers recognised the importance of promoting defence equipment and technology cooperation through a joint effort between the public and private sectors in order to bilaterally strengthen technological capability and industrial infrastructure and shared the view that they would further develop defence equipment and technology cooperation between the two countries.

 Minister Sitharaman briefed Minister Onodera on the setting up of two Defence Industry Corridors in India and invited participation of Japanese enterprises. Minister Onodera appreciated the briefing.
 Minister Onodera thanked Minister Sitharaman for the very warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and members of the Japanese delegation during his visit to India.

Defence Minister of Japan calls on the Prime Minister

Mr. Itsunori Onodera, Defence Minister of Japan, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Prime Minister Modi recalled his long association with Japan, since before assuming office as Prime Minister, and welcomed the broadening and deepening of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan in recent years.

Prime Minister Modi said that Defence Cooperation is a key pillar of the relationship between India and Japan. He welcomed the strengthening of various defence dialogue mechanisms between the two countries, and the enhanced linkages between the armed forces of India and Japan. The Prime Minister also appreciated the progress in defence technology cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Modi warmly recalled the successful visit of Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, to India last year, and said that he is looking forward to visiting Japan later this year.

INS Khanjar visits Yangon, Myanmar

INS Khanjar a Missile Corvette of Indian Navy was on a three-day visit to Yangon, Myanmar to undertake operational turn around (OTR) and as part of goodwill visit from 18 to 20 Aug 18. On arrival at Yangon, the Commanding Officer called-on Captain Tet Lwin Run, Fleet Commander 1st Fleet and the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Shri Vikram Misri.  A joint Yoga Session for IN and Myanmar Naval personnel was also organised in addition to the cross visits between Indian Navy and Myanmar Naval personnel. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Conclusion: Exercise Pitch Black 2018, RAAF Base Darwin, Australia (24 Jul 18 – 18 Aug 18)

Conclusion: Exercise Pitch Black 2018, RAAF Base Darwin, Australia (24 Jul 18 – 18 Aug 18)

Ex Pitch Black a biennial multi-national large force employment warfare exercise was hosted by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from 24 Jul 18 to 18 Aug 18 in Darwin, Australia. Indian Air Force had earlier participated in the exercise as observers and this was for the first time that IAF participated with air assets in the Exercise Pitch Black (PB-18). With participation of 16 nations and more than 140 aircraft, the current edition was the largest Pitch Black ever conducted by Australia. IAF contingent consisted of 145 air-warriors including IAF Commandos team, Garuds, 04 X Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130 and 01 X C-17 for logistic support for induction and de-induction. The contingent assembled at Air Force Station Kalaikunda and departed for the exercise on 19 Jul 18 from India to Australia via Indonesia. The contingent was led by Group Captain CUV Rao.

The objectives for the exercise were to foster closer relationship between the participating friendly forces and to promote interoperability through exchange of knowledge and experience. The aim for participating crew and specialist observers was to expose them to op environment in international scenarios. The exercise comprised of 2 phases, first being the Force Integration week. During the Force Integration week, the forces flew basic missions with an aim to get to same working platform. Subsequently the missions involved larger packages & we undertook simulated air combat exercises in near realistic environment and exchanged best practices towards enhancing our operational capability.
Various day and night operations were undertaken by the IAF and for the first time. SU-30MKI carried out Air to Air Refueling with KC-30A of RAAF. The KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport is a modified Airbus A330 airliner that is used by RAAF to conduct air-to-air refueling and provide strategic airlift. Some highlights of the exercise included exchange sorties flown by IAF pilots flying in Rafale & RAAF F/A-18 (Hornets) and RAAF crew & French Crew flying in SU-30MKI. IAF C-130J crew got a unique opportunity to fly in RAAF C130J aircraft. C-130J also carried out assault landing at Dalmare, Assault Operations of dropping specialist vehicles in Op area and participation in Large Force Engagement missions, both by day and night. Certain maiden operations undertaken by the IAF during the exercise included IAF Commandos, Garuds and Para Jump Instructors jumping from C-27J Spartan in a foreign country, Container Delivery System (CDS) drop by C-130 J, Engine Running Ops (ERO) for dropping Ops Specialist Vehicles in Combat Zone. During the exercise, IAF maintenance crew ensured 100% serviceability of all the assets, thus ensuring complete participation of the forces in the exercise.

The exercise provided a unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with the participating nations in a dynamic warfare environment. The IAF contingent interacted with various countries, gained first-hand experience of training patterns, employment and operating philosophies of their combat assets.

Participation in a multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries. Over the last decade, IAF has been actively participating in operational exercises hosted by various countries, wherein collaborative engagements have been undertaken with the best air forces in the world. It was a unique, fascinating, desirable and timeless learning at the exercise for the IAF contingent. 

The professionalism and work ethos of IAF Pilots, technicians, Airmen and all participating Air-Warriors earned praises from all quarters. The Operational lessons learnt by IAF during the exercise will assist IAF in adding more teeth to its overall war waging capabilities and assist us in better joint man ship with the friendly Nations. IAF has de-inducted from Darwin, Australia and has reached Malaysia on its return journey to India.

Successful Flight Tests of Smart Anti Airfield Weapon

Indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) were successfully flight tested from IAF aircraft at Chandan  range.  The weapon system was integrated with live warhead and has destroyed the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events. This weapon is capable of destroying variety of ground targets using precision navigation. A total of three tests with different release conditions were conducted during 16 to 18 August 2018 and all the mission objectives have been achieved.
The weapon has undergone eight developmental trials till date and performance of system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated. Senior officials from DRDO, HAL and Indian Air Force participated and witnessed the flight tests.

Raksha  Mantri  Smt  Nirmala  Sitharaman  congratulated  the DRDO, IAF and HAL on the successful flight tests for further boosting the defence capabilities of the country. 

Successful Flight Test of ATGM ‘HELINA’

Indigenously developed Helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’ has been successfully flight tested from Army Helicopter at 1400hrs in the ranges of Pokhran, today. The weapon system has been tested for its full range.The ‘HELINA’ weapon system released smoothly from the launch platform has tracked the target all through its course and hit the target with high precision. Allthe parameters have been monitored by the telemetry stations, tracking systems and the Helicopters.

The Missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode. It is one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world. Senior officials from DRDO and Indian Army were present during the mission.

Raksha  Mantri  Smt  Nirmala  Sitharaman  congratulated  the DRDO  and  the Indian Army on the successful flight test for further strengthening the defence capabilities of the country.

Closing Ceremony: Indo – Thailand Joint Exercise Maitree 2018 

Exercise Maitree 2018, a two week long platoon level joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army culminated on 19 August 2018. The Exercise Maitree is an annual event designed to strengthen the partnership between Royal Thai Army and Indian Army and the exercise commenced on 06 August 2018 in Thailand. 

The exercise began with a cross training period involving familiarization training between two armies to evolve drills and procedures involved in counter insurgency & counter terrorist operations in urban, rural and jungle terrain under UN mandate. The initial days of field training also focused on familiarizing with each other’s modus operandi, basic maneuvers and evolving joint drills. The second phase included practicing of various drills & tactical scenarios in counter insurgency environment, execution of tactical operations like search and destroy operation, house intervention and survival techniques. The exercise culminated with a 72 hour joint exercise on planning and execution of series of tactical operations like raid, pursuit, establishing Military Check Post and cordon and search operations.

 Both the armies immensely benefitted from each other’s expertise and experience in conduct of tactical level counter terrorist operations. The exercise helped in enhancing the cooperation between two armies & bonhomie between troops.

Flood Relief Operation by Indian Army in Kerala

Indian Army is deeply involved in the Rescue & Relief operations in Kerala which is witnessing very heavy rains since 09 August 2018. Request for provision of Army assistance was received on 09 August 2018. Accordingly, Indian Army carried out execution of Disaster Relief tasks on a war footing which has been greatly appreciated by civilian populace and the State administration. 
As on date total of 10 flood relief columns, each having an approximate strength of 65 personnels are carrying out rescue operations in ten districts of Kerala. The details of flood relief columns are as under:-

Column Number
Place of Deployment
Date of Deployment
Column 1 & 2Ayyankunnu (Kannur)09 Aug 2018
16 Aug 2018
Column 3 Mananthwady (Wayanad)09 Aug 2018
Column 4 Kozikode09 Aug 2018
Column 5
Karuvarukundu & Nilambur (Malappuram)09 Aug 2018
Column 6 Adimali, Idukki10 Aug 2018
Column 7 Aluwa, Ernakulam11 Aug 2018
Column 8 Ernakulam13 Aug 2018
Column 9 Pathnamathitta13 Aug 2018
Column 10 Thiruvanantpuram15 Aug 2018
In addition to the 10 flood relief columns, 10 Engineer Task Forces (ETF) each having an approximate strength of 40 personnels from Jodhpur, Bhopal, Pune, Bangalore and Secunderabad have been pressed into action. Army is also utilising 53 military boats to evacuate civilians from flood affected areas. The details of ETF are as under:-

Column Number
Place of Deployment
Date of Deployment
ETF 1Munnar, Idukki
09 Aug 2018
ETF 2Ernakulam
09 Aug 2018
ETF 3 Pathnamathitta
11 Aug 2018
ETF 4,5,6 Thrissur
16 Aug 2018
ETF 7,8,9Trivendrum
16 Aug 2018
17 Aug 2018
ETF 10Kozhikode
17 Aug 2018

Inspite of continuous and heavy rains, Indian Army columns are working round the clock to restore connectivity to remote villages by constructing temporary foot bridges, bunds and preparing alternate routes. 13 temporary bridges were constructed to reconnect 38 remote areas and total of 3627 personnels have been rescued till date, which include 22 foreign nationals. 

Relief materials have been sent to 19 villages with medical aid being provided to approximately 500 civilians till date. In addition 3000 pre-cooked meals and 300 life jackets have been handed over to civil administration on 17 Aug 2018.

 Casevac of French National from Leh

Bresson Florence and her husband Christophe were on a road trip at Leh, on motorcycles when, in an accident the 50 year old French national lady was seriously injured. She was immediately taken to an army hospital nearby and then shifted to SNM hospital at Leh where she was shifted to the ICU. Her condition was critical. Christophe suffered minor injuries.

The Embassy of France at New Delhi,placed an immediate request to evacuate the patient to Chandigarh or Delhi, for further medical care. Accordingly a C-17 Globemaster aircraft was prepared for launch with at Patient Transfer unit, a mobile ICU in itself, and enroute medicare personnel. Unfortunately the weather at Leh in the afternoon hours on 16 Aug 18 did not permit the aircraft to land.

Early morning today, a C-17 aircraft, on a routine sortie, from Chandigarh landed at Leh with the Patient Transfer Unit, to which Brensson was transferred. Simultaneously a C-130 Hercules aircraft launched from Hindon reached Leh and took off with the patient accompanied by her husband and other medicare personnel.

The evacuation of the casualtywas successfully completed at 0925 hrs when the C-130 ac landed at Palam with the patient. She was then transferred to a specialised hospital at New Delhi.

 “It was an apprehensive moment for us when due weather we could not launch the aircraft last evening. Our medical fraternity was in constant touch with the doctors at Leh and at the first opportune moment both the aircraft were launched and mission executed successfully”, said the Air Officer Commanding Airforce Station Chandigarh, Air Cmde S Srinivasan AVSM VSM.