Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Outreach Programmeat Air Force Station Nal 

This year marks the 86th anniversary of Indian Air Force.  As part of Air Force Day Celebration, Air Force Station Nal conducted an outreach programme ‘VAYUSENA PRADARSHANI’ from 0730h onwards on 21 Oct 18 for the general public.

Approximately 1.5 lakh people including civilians, armed force personnel, paramilitary forces and nearly 12000 children from different schools/colleges in and around Bikaner witnessed this programme on 21 Oct 18.  Response of people was overwhelming and they were thrilled to see the spectacular display of Suryakiran Aerobatic Team, Akash Ganga Sky Diving Team, Air Warrior Drill Team (AWDT) and live concert by Air Force Band. 

A publicity stall was set up at the venue to motivate the aspiring youth and children to chosen Indian Air Force as a career option.

Raksha Mantri Attends ADMM at Singapore

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 5thADMM Plus meet in Singapore today, which is a forum for Defence Ministers from ten ASEAN and eight ASEAN Plus countries. The theme of this year’s dialogue was ‘Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience’.The dialogue adopted two resolutions on ‘Countering the Threat of Terrorism’ and ‘Practical Confidence Building Measures’.

Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri Smt Sitharaman emphasised India’s concern on the grave challenges to international peace and stability due to the threat of terrorism. Condemning the use of terror as an instrument to further state policies, Raksha Mantri conveyed that the interplay between states and non-state actors used as proxies to foment violence had worsened this menace
She also highlighted that the continued presence of terrorist infrastructure and support to terrorists in the immediate neighbourhood constantly tested India’s patience. As a responsible power, great restraint was being exercised by India in dealing with this menace. However, India had exhibited measures to disrupt and deter the activities of terrorists groups and their patrons and would not hesitate to do so again if required in future. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated India’s view on Indo-Pacific, as outlined by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, as an open, balanced region, connected by open and secure seas, integrated by balanced trade and shaped by a rules based order, anchored in ASEAN centrality and conveyed India’s commitment to maintain a sustained focus of its ‘Act East’ policy in terms of economic, cultural and developmental engagement of the region. 

Complimenting the ADMM Plus for emerging as a credible and effective platform forging practical cooperation among the members of the armed forces, Raksha Mantri informed the partners of India’s active participation in all the ADMM Plus mechanism contributing effectively to their success. India and Myanmar are the co-chairs for the Expert Working Group for Military Medicine for this cycle and a standalone Field Training Exercise on Military Medicine will be held in Lucknow in March 2019 along with the release of ASEAN Military Medicine Handbook. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Sitharaman emphasised India’s commitment to a rules based international order that was inclusive and democratic. She reiterated India’s desire to work both bilaterally with ASEAN member states as well as institutionally and welcomed Thailand’s taking over the chairmanship of the ADMM Plus. 

On the side-lines of the ADMM Plus meeting, Raksha Mantri also held constructive bilateral discussions with the Defence Minister of the USA. Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. She also held meeting the Defence Ministers of Russia, China, Thailand, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. Discussions were also held with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Mr. Teo Chee Hean andDefence Minister of SingaporeDr. Ng Eng Hen. 

Curtain Raiser: Indo-Japan Joint Exercise Dharma Guardian- 2018

To promote Military cooperation, India and Japan are all set to hold the first ever joint military exercise 'DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018' involving the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force at Counter Insurgency Warfare School, Vairengte, India from 01 November to 14 November 2018. The Indian contingent will be represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while the Japanese contingent will be represented by 32 Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force.
During the 14 day long exercise, due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects. 

Exercise 'DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018' will be yet another step in deepening strategic ties including closer defence cooperation between the two countries. It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other's militaries and also facilitate  tracking the worldwide phenomenon of  terrorism.          

Visit of Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of the German Navy

Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of the German Navy, who is on a four day official visit to India called on Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff at South Block on 18 October 2018. The Chief of German Navy laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and was accorded a traditional Guard of Honour. He also held extensive interactions with the senior hierarchy of the Indian Navy and with the Chief of the Army Staff, Defence Secretary and the Vice Chief of Air Staff. The visit by the Chief of German Navy is a significant milestone in Indo-German Naval relations and would strengthen military ties between the two countries.
Indian Navy Augments Submarine Rescue capability

The Western Naval Command has successfully concluded the maiden trials of the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) which has ushered in a niche capability into the Indian Navy. The DSRV, which is operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled submarine at one time.
On 15 Oct 2018, the DSRV carried out under water mating with a bottomed submarine, at over 300 feet depth. On successful mating the DSRV opened its hatches and the submarine hatches and carried out transfer of personnel from the submarine to the DSRV. These sea trials have proven the newly inducted DSRV’s ability to undertake rescue operations from disabled submarines at sea and has provided the Indian Navy with a critical capability.

During the trials the DSRV also dived successfully up to 666 m. This is a record for deepest submergence by a ‘manned vessel’ in Indian waters. The DSRV crew has also carried out ROV operations at over 750 metres and Side Scan Sonar operations at over 650 metres, which are all ‘firsts’ for the Indian Navy.

The ongoing trials will also include air transportation of the system by the IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft. Completion of the trials will put the Indian Navy into a small league of world navies that have integral submarine rescue capability.

Minister of State for Defence Affairs, United Arab Emirates visit to India

Minister of State for Defence Affairs, United Arab Emirates Mr Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Al Falacy is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman.

The UAE Minister met Raksha Mantri in New Delhi today. The Ministers undertook a review of bilateral defence cooperation and deliberated upon measures to further enhance bilateral exchanges. They recognized that deeper bilateral defence cooperation has been emphasized by the leadership of both countries as a central element in the expanded India and UAE Strategic Partnership.

During their meeting, both the Ministers discussed a range of defence cooperation issues and agreed upon priority areas for cooperation including enhanced military to military exchanges, training, military medicine and defence industry tie ups.

The UAE Minister will visit Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) and Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) at Bengaluru tomorrow.

Dream of ECHS Polyclinic at Tawang comes true

Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr. Subhash Bhamre inaugurated the first Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) Polyclinic in the remote high altitude area of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on 16 October 2018.  Lieutenant General GS Sangha, General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps and Major General R K Jha, General Officer Commanding, Ball of Fire Division were also present at the event along with officials from District Administration and large number of Ex-Servicemen of Tawang and adjoining areas.
The ECHS polyclinic in Tawang was a long pending dream of Ex-Servicemen in Tawang district. The scheme will provide quality medical care to all Ex-Servicemen and their dependents who could not travel upto the nearest ECHS facilities which were located approximately 350 Km away at Tezpur and Guwahati. This polyclinic will also act as a nodal point for treatment of veterans in the empanelled super speciality hospitals in major cities of India. Raksha Rajya Mantri also addressed the gathering and highlighted various welfare measures being undertaken by the Government for Ex-Servicemen.

Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018

The Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018, the second edition of the Goa Maritime Symposium (GSM) – a forum towards fostering friendly relations with the maritime neighbours - was inaugurated by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC, at INS Mandovi at Goa on 16th October 2018. The “Naval War College Journal”, an academic compendium with ideas and papers from writers and thinkers on maritime strategy and security, was also released on the occasion by the CNS. Welcoming the delegates to the seminar, Admiral Lanba reiterated the importance of cooperative engagement to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The theme of the seminar, this year was “Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in IOR”. The deliberations were focused on capacity building among IOR Navies to tackle emerging maritime threats, in addition to discussing cooperative strategies for enhancing interoperability among partner maritime agencies. Renowned national/ international speakers articulated their views on these crucial issues, followed by theme based discussions. Eminent scholars and practitioners who spoke on the occasion included, Admiral (Dr) Jayanath Colombage (Retd.) from Sri Lanka, Ms Jane Chan Git Yin from Singapore, Captain Verghese Mathews (India) and Prof. Dattesh DP Parulekar (India). Dr Jabin Jacob and Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande (Retd.) moderated the subsequent theme based discussions.

The international seminar was attended by delegates from many countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius, Sri-Lanka, Singapore, Thailand etc. Country specific deliberations by senior naval officers from all the participating countries were also held with active sharing of experiences, concerns and perspectives of their respective countries.

The GMS was conceptualised and first held in Nov 2016 aimed at establishing academic excellence as well as sharing of ideas among India’s maritime neighbors’ by facilitating interaction between senior representatives of navies and maritime agencies in the IOR; and it plays a constructive role in bringing together stakeholders involved in evolving strategies, policies and implementation mechanisms in the maritime domain. 

DRDO pays tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his Birth Anniversary

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) celebrated the 87th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, the former President of India and DRDO chief at a function in DRDO Bhawan here today. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman graced the occasion as the Chief Guest which also had the presence of Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, and Prof K Vijay Raghavan Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, along with other dignitaries.

Speaking on the occasion Smt. Sitharaman shared her experience of meeting with Dr Kalam. She said, he was not only a good scientist but also an excellent administrator who could spot and nurture talent among his team members. That among others made this ‘missile man’ a great team leader. 

Addressing the gathering, Raksha Rajya Mantri said, Dr Kalam believed in a strong nation – one that is scientifically superior and always used to inspire people for putting their total commitment towards the mission in hand. This can be gauged in his words, “If you want to shine like sun, first burn like sun.”

Raksha Mantri Smt Sitharaman also launched a DRDO website dedicated to the theme ‘The Kalam Vision – Dare to Dream’ for engaging young minds in emerging technologies namely Artificial intelligence, Cyber security, Robotics, Automonous Systems, etc. The website will facilitate open competition for students and Startups. It is available at the address: https://drdo.gov.in/drdo/kalam/kalam.html. 

Hindi version of the book “Incredible Kalam” was released by RRM Dr Bhamre in today’s function so that message of Dr Kalam can reach to the masses of the country. The book is the compilation of personal experiences of some distinguished scientists about their association with Kalam. 

The function was attended by Students of three Delhi based schools. These schools have set up Atal Tinkering Lab in their schools under Atal innovation mission of Government of India. Students and researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi also attended the function. The aim of inviting young minds was to motivate them with diverse and great qualities of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, who had special affinity for students and youth of the country. Young scientists from DRDO laboratories delivered presentations at the function regarding the innovative projects they have undertaken.

The students were taken to visit the Kalam Gallery at DRDO Bhawan to get a glimpse of defence systems and technologies displayed. Students took keen interest in the life and work of Dr Kalam depicted in the gallery.  

Army Commanders Conference: 09-15 October 2018

The Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event, which formulates important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations, is being held in New Delhi from 09-15 October 2018. The current operational, administrative and human resource challenges facing the Indian Army have been reviewed in detail and future course of actions have been deliberated. 

Four major studies currently underway were presented to the collegium. The focus of the studies is holistic integration thereby enhance the operational & functional efficiency, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate force modernization and address aspirations.
The first study on ‘Re-organisation and Rightsizing of the Indian Army’is focused on the operational structures to make them efficient, future ready by taking into account the operational situation on Western and Northern Borders. The second study is on ‘Re-organisation of the Army Headquarters’, aimed at integration and preclude the redundancies. Over a period of time, with emerging scenarios; new structures have emerged and measures to integrate and synergise the same is underway. The third study on ‘Cadre Review of Officers’ is aimed to incorporate the proposed reorganization, restructuring and endeavours balanced cadre to meet the aspirations of the officers’ cadre. The collegium further deliberated on the longer tenure of flag ranks with a view to ensure better continuity, achievements of objectives and aspirations. The fourth study on ‘Review of Terms of Engagement of Rank and File’is aimed to harness the higher life expectancy, ensure younger profile and ensure due motivation.        

The collegium has concluded that the above studies will be implemented progressively in a phased manner. The phases will comprise requisite refinements of the studies making them pragmatic for implementation. It has also been decided that all operational aspects of the studies will be validated through test bedding them in exercises. During the deliberations, many options have been discussed and it has been decided that all value-inputs will be factored,360 degrees evaluation to be undertaken, course-corrections to be instituted if required and implement the same with specific timelines.
The collegium further deliberated on the ‘enhancing linguistic skill in the Indian Army’. The necessity and methodology to enhance expertise in Indian and international languages has been established.
Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Subhash Bhamre addressed the Army Commanders’ Conference. He lauded the Indian Army’s efforts in contribution to Nation building and assured the government’s commitment for facilitating the desired capability development. He expressed his satisfaction on the conduct of the deliberations during the conference.
Army Commanders’ Conference has comprehensively deliberated all aspects of extant security dynamics, emerging security scenarios and enhancement of combat edge over potential adversaries.

Raksha Mantri Addresses on ‘India-France Defence Engagement in A Multipolar World’ at The Institute of Strategic Research (IRSEM) in Paris

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is on maiden official visit to France on the invitation of French Defence Minister Ms Florence Parly from October 10 - 13, 2018.  Smt Sitharaman addressed ‘India-France Defence Engagement in a Multipolar World’ at the Institute of Strategic Research (IRSEM) in Paris, today. In her speech, she said that her visit is a reaffirmation of India’s commitment to the strategic partnership with France, especially in the critical areas of defence cooperation.

Raksha Mantri Smt Sitharaman said, “Under the new framework for defence industry in India, we are hoping to meet our defence requirements within a framework of joint manufacturing and technology driven partnerships”. She highlighted a strong India-France strategic partnership, of which the defence ties are a key component, and an active engagement with other like-minded friends and partners, can contribute to furthering peace and security in these testing times. India presents a major opportunity for the French defence industry. Indian Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative opens doors to not only a huge market but is also an attractive investment destination for defence production and development, including for third country exports. Several of our international partners have already displayed a willingness to expand their presence in the Indian defence manufacturing space.

Raksha Mantri said the current international security environment can be characterized as one of rapid change and uncertainty, with swathes of sustained instability and violence posing a grave challenge. The persisting threat of terrorism, or what we in India as well as increasingly in Afghanistan too, more accurately refer to as cross-border terrorism, is a primary security threat. She also said that the interplay between states and non-state actors that are often used as proxies to foment violence has worsened this menace.  Areas of continued violence and instability in the Af-Pak region, as well as parts of West Asia and Africa, have functioned as incubators of virulent manifestations of terrorism. This, combined with the issue of foreign terrorist fighters and uncontrolled migration now pose a clear threat to the stability of wider Asia and Europe.

Smt Sitharaman made special mentioned about the continued presence of terrorist infrastructure and state support to terrorists in the immediate neighbourhood constantly testing India’s patience. As a responsible power, India has exercised great restraint in dealing with this menace. India and France have long been victims of terrorism. Disrupting the recruitment, mobilisation and movements of Foreign Terrorist fighters, stopping sources of terrorist financing in dismantling terrorist infrastructure and preventing supply of arms to terrorists all require a concerted effort. She mentioned that in this direction, France is playing a unique role. 

She underlined in that context, growing India-France maritime cooperation, especially in the Indian Ocean region, will be crucial in order to preserving the strategic interests, in maintaining the safety of international sea lanes for unimpeded commerce and communications in accordance with the international law, for countering maritime terrorism and piracy, for capacity building and for greater coordination in regional/international fora. Such cooperation is for the common benefit of all.

Smt Sitharaman said at a broader level, high political exchanges have been a hallmark of our ties. Most recently, the very successful State visit by President Mr. Emmanuel Macron to India in March this year, and the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Paris in June last year, have elevated Indo-French relationship to a new trajectory. 

India has been constantly supportive of recent efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy. Developments in the Middle East and West Asia are of great significance for India. India has key stakes in this region, which accounts for 66% of our energy requirements and is home to over eight million Indians. Conflict in this region threatens to expand beyond the internal situation in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya. 

India and France are bound by a very deep-rooted thread of military history. She referred to the supreme sacrifice of 9,300 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives on the French soil, fighting in the World Wars. A total of 1,40,000 Indian soldiers fought in various theatres of the First World War in France and Belgium, thousands of miles away from their homeland, for the cause of freedom.
Raksha Mantri stated that India’s partnership with other countries aims to contribute a more secure, stable and peaceful environment for all and spur greater prosperity. She further stated that France is an important stakeholder in this effort and both the countries will remain committed to working together towards these objectives.

Fifth edition of Dilli Series Seapower  Seminar concludes at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

The fifth edition of the Dilli Series Seapower Seminar on “Geopolitical Impact of Sea Power” concluded today, Friday, 12 October 2018 at the Indian Naval Academy (INA). Nine papers were presented during the seminar covering various topics like ‘Of places and Bases – How Naval Strategy for Trade Protection Impacted Anglo – French Colonial Rivalry in the Indian Ocean’, ‘The Battle of Diu’, ’China’s Belt and Road Initiative’, ‘Assessing China’s Engagement in India’s Maritime Neighborhood’, ‘Chinese Sea Power and the Belt and Road Initiative: A Mahanian Blueprint to Colonisation in the 21st Century’ and ‘ Gunboat Diplomacy’. The two days event was attended by several serving and retired senior Naval Officers, eminent academicians and distinguished luminaries.       
The seminar proceedings on day two, chaired by  RAdm SY Shrikhande, AVSM (Retd.)  was centered on the topic ‘Gunboat Diplomacy’.  Cadets of INA presented a paper on the topic 'Gunboat Diplomacy: Emerging Players and Associated Challenges in the Indo Pacific Region’. The day also saw a mesmerising and insightful presentations on Gunboat Diplomacy by VAdm Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar,  VSM,  (Retd) (covering the prospects from 14th – 17th Century), Cmde G Prakash covering the topic from 17th century onwards and Cdr P Ratheesh discussing its application in the IOR. 

Rear Admiral Puneet Chadha, VSM,  Deputy Commandant and Chief instructor, INA delivered the closing address and thanked all paper presenters, chairpersons, and eminent academicians and luminaries for the intellectually enriching experience provided to the audience, especially cadets at  INA, through the high quality deliberations.  Asst Prof Dr. Lalitha Sharma delivered the vote of thanks .

The Indian Naval Academy christened the Annual Seminar as the ‘Dilli’ series after Mount Dilli located at Ezhimala, which has been a witness to the developments of the maritime history of the region. The lighthouse insignia reflects the need to ‘look back to see forward’. The seminar has been an enriching experience and the ‘Dilli’ series hopes to stimulate young officers and cadets to keep an eye on developments in the maritime domain whilst simultaneously laying a strong foundation of the past.

Defence Minister's Visit To France

Raksha Mantri (RM) Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman visited France from October 11-12, 2018 for the first India-France Ministerial level annual defence dialogue with her French counterpart, the Minister for the Armed ForcesMs. Florence Parly. During her visit Smt Sitharaman also interacted with CEOs of French defence industry and visited a defence manufacturing site.

During the defence dialogue held on October 11, 2018 in Paris, the two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of the India-France Strategic Partnership. They also exchanged views on contemporary regional & international developments of mutual interest. 

Both sides discussed ways to deepen defence related official as well as operational level interactions. It was agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the regular joint exercises (SHAKTI, VARUNA and GARUDA) in the future. 

Recognising that India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region is important for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests, both the Ministers noted the continuing implementation of the "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region”. 

During the visit, RM also addressed a select audience on the topic ‘India-France Defence Engagement in a Multi-polar World’ at the L’Institut de recherche stratégique de l’ÉcoleMilitaire (IRSEM)[French Military College’s Institute for Strategic Research], a well-known think-tank for military and strategic affairs based in Paris.

RM also called on the Prime Minister of the French Republic, Mr. Edouard Philippe and discussed issues of bilateral cooperation. 

In her interaction with the top leaders of the French defence industry, RM urged them to undertake and expand their defence manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative as well as promote defence technology and R&D cooperation with Indian stakeholders such as Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited, Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited etc.

Indian Naval Ship & Aircraft reach Belawan Indonesia for 32nd India - Indonesia coordinated patrol (CORPAT)

Indian Naval Ship Kulish, a Kora class missile corvette, commanded by Commander Deepak Bali and an Indian Dornier (naval maritime time patrol aircraft) from Andaman and Nicobar command entered Belawan harbour, Indonesia for the opening ceremony of the 32nd edition of India – Indonesia coordinated patrol     (IND-INDO CORPAT), to be held from 11 – 27 Oct 2018. The delegation is led by Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command.

The ships and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary Line. The patrolling would be conducted in three phases from 14 – 24 Oct 2018 followed by a closing ceremony at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Island, scheduled from 25 – 26 Oct 2018.

The visit seeks to emphasize India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability and strengthen existing bonds of friendship between the two countries.

During their stay in Belawan, various activities are planned   such as official calls, formal reception onboard, ship open to visitors and professional interactions.

In the recent past Indian Naval assets have been increasingly deployed to address maritime concerns of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

In addition, as part of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the IOR with EEZ Surveillance, Search and Rescue, other capacity -building and capability-enhancement activities. The current deployment will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s effort to forge strong bonds of friendship across the seas and consolidate inter-operability.

Air Force Commanders Conference

The second Bi-annual IAF Commanders’ Conference of 2018 was inaugurated today by Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan). Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, welcomed Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr Subhash Bhamre and introduced the IAF Commanders to him. 

Raksha Rajya Mantri addressed the Air Force Commanders on the inaugural day of the conference and stressed upon the vital role being played by the IAF for enabling India to be the Net Security Provider in the IOR in furtherance of the Prime Minister’s SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region) Doctrine. He reiterated the fact that the IAF is the most technologically intensive and quickest military response available to the Government for furthering India’s leverage. During his address the Raksha Rajya Mantri said “I commend the IAF leadership in promoting indigenisation in multiple ways. IAF’s resolve to wholeheartedly support the indigenous LCA programme by committing to procure 18 squadrons of LCA and its variants endorsing its capability is notable and praiseworthy. IAF leading the thrust to promote India’s indigenous bio-jet fuel program would surely go a long way in reducing India’s crude oil import bill by more than 10% and augment farmers’ incomes substantially. The Mehar Baba Swarm Drone Competition is a highly exciting development and I wish it all success in identifying innovative technology in Unmanned Aerial Systems. IAF is perhaps the first service to kickstart an Artificial Intelligence Project with the participation of the private industry and the progress of this project is extremely heartening”  

The CAS while addressing the Commanders emphasized on the need for robust training of IAF personnel in order to maintain IAF’s operational competence and reiterated the need for holding an operational edge over our adversaries through focused operational training, keeping it in line with our concept of operations.  He stressed upon the need for joint training with Indian Army and Indian Navy in order to enhance the synergy between the services for ensuring national security.

The Commanders’ conference is planned for two days, wherein discussions will take place on maintaining combat worthiness and the cutting edge of IAF by suitably refining the training pattern. Training for future inductions like Rafale and Tejas fighter Jets, Chinook and Apache helicopters, SPYDER & Medium Range Surface to Air Missile would also be discussed.
The Commanders will also interact with a team of senior officials from HAL and discuss issues pertaining to production, upgradation, indigenization, design & development of various equipment and aircraft.            

Dilli Series Seapower Seminar 2018 Commences at Indian Naval Academy

1.     The fifth edition of the annual Dilliseminar on ‘Geopolitical Impact of Sea Power’ commenced this morning at the Indian Naval Academy (INA). The two day seminar is being attended by several serving senior Naval officers, eminent academicians and distinguished luminaries.  Vice Admiral RB Pandit, AVSM,  Commandant, INA  delivered the opening address. 

2.     The seminar proceedings commenced with the Dilli Invitational talk by Dr TCA Raghavan, former diplomat who also served as the High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, on ‘Integrating the Continental and the Maritime in our Foreign and Strategic Policies.’

3.     The first session of day one named ‘Sea Power and Colonisation’, chaired by CmdeOdakkalJohnson,  commenced with a presentation on ‘The Battle of Diu’ authored by Dr. Anupama Ghosh, and presented by VAdm Pradeep Chauhan,  AVSM & Bar, VSM(Retd.) analysed naval battles in the decade following Vasco da Gama’s arrival at Calicut and his voyages in the larger geo-politics of those times. The causes of the defeat of combined forces led by Zamorin  and the impact it had in the history of India was also covered.

4.     The second paper was presented by Cdr Yogesh V Athawale on the subject ‘Of Places and Bases – How Naval Strategy for Trade Protection Impacted Anglo – French Colonial Rivalry in the Indian Ocean’. The officer, a specialist in Anti Submarine Warfare, is a regular contributor to professional publications and has been publishing in international and national journals. The paper traced back the background of Anglo- French rivalry, and touched upon its strategic, operational and tactical dimensions. The salience of sea power in shaping up the strategy of colonial contestants and its decisive role in determining the outcome was also narrated in the course of the presentation.

5.     Session two of day one named ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative’ chaired by Cmde Sushant Dam, VSM commenced with a paper by      RAdm Dhiren Vig, Addl. Director General , Project Seabird, on the subject ‘One Belt One Road’. The paper discussed  the Belt Road Initiative by China and its maritime dimensions.

6.      A paper on ‘Assessing China’s Engagement in India’s Maritime Neighborhood’ by Shri Nitin Pai, co-founder and director of Takshashila foundation, discussed possibilities of conceptualising change and uncertainty and derive what India must do to promote its national interests. 

7.     Capt VC Mehra, Commanding Officer, INS Ranjit delivered his paper on the topic ‘Chinese Sea Power and the Belt and Road Initiative: A Mahanian Blueprint to Colonisation in the 21st Century’. The paper highlighted certain elements that are essential for developing sea power according to the book Mahan and the manner in which China is applying it.  

8.     On the concluding day of the two day seminar (tomorrow, Friday, 12 October 2018), four papers will be presented. These include ‘Gunboat Diplomacy: Emerging Players and Associated Challenges in the Indo Pacific Region’ by cadets of INA, ‘Gun boat Diplomacy’byVAdm Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM (Retd.) and Cmde G Prakash, and ‘Sea Power in the IOR’ by Cdr P Ratheesh

Launch of Aeroindia 2019 Website

India is hosting the 12th edition of “Aero India 2019” at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, (Karnataka) from 20 to 24 February, 2019.

This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition of the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. Besides global leaders and big investors in aerospace industry, the show will also see participation by think-tanks from across the world. Aero India will provide an unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving a fillip to the domestic aviation industry it would further the cause of Make in India.
In Aero India, close to 500 companies both Indian and Foreign companies are expected to participate.
A newly designed website has been launched today for Aero India 2019 (https://aeroindia.gov.in) for registration of exhibitors and visitors.

The portal facilitated payment of registration fee online and thereafter book space/stall of their choice at the venue through the portal. Business visitors would also be able to purchase tickets on the portal by paying required fee online. 

The Aero India website has been integrated with multi-currency Payment Gateway where Indian companies would be able to pay in Indian Rupees using Credit Card/Debit Card/Net Banking/UPI/NEFT/RTGS and foreign companies would be able to pay in US dollars using credit card/debit card. The registration of media representatives will be opened shortly.

The website will be hosting latest information about the various events like seminars, CEO’s Round Table, etc. to be held during the Aero India 2019 show and other important information to facilitate the exhibitors and visitors to plan their trip for the show.

INS Rana at South Korea to Participate in IFR

INS Rana  which is currently on Operational Deployment to the North West Pacific region in the pursuance of India’s Act East Policy, arrived Jeju, Repubic of Korea to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) being held at from 08 – 15 Oct 18. During the 7-day visit, INS Rana, commanded by Capt Atul Deswal will have a series of confidence-building engagements with Republic of Korea Navy and other foreign Navies participating in the IFR. 

During the visit, the ship will be actively participating the engagements related to IFR. A Naval Contingent will be part of the opening ceremony. The ship will also be a part of the various other sport, cultural events and will host reception onboard as per the IFR schedule.  

The historical cultural links between India and the Republic of Korea have laid the foundation of vibrant bilateral relations between the two countries. These include the growing economic engagements and military to military interactions.

Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018

Towards fostering friendly relations with our maritime neighbours, the Indian Navy, through the Naval War College, Goa is hosting the ‘Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018’ on 16th October2018. The event, which is a follow-on to the maiden Goa Maritime Conclave held in 2017, is likely to be attended by senior naval officers and representatives from 16 Indian Ocean littoral countries, which include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand from South East Asia; Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka from India’s immediate neighbourhood: the island nations of Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives; Oman in West Asia; and South Africa, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique from Africa.

Aimed at establishing academic excellence and sharing of ideas amongst India’s maritime neighbours, the symposium will facilitate interaction between senior representatives of navies and maritime agencies in the Indian Ocean Region on common issues of maritime interest. With the Indian Ocean becoming the locus of the 21st century strategic landscape, the symposium will play a constructive role in bringing together stakeholders that have a role in evolving strategies, policies and implementation mechanisms in the maritime domain.

Nestled in the lush environs of North Goa, the venue for the Conclave, INS Mandovi, and the adjoining, imposing Aguada Fort, are a fitting tribute to the rich maritime history, culture and traditions of Goa, which date all the way back to the second century BC. With its ties to the past and vista into the future, the venue will add a unique flavour to the planned deliberations.

The theme for the one day symposium is “Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in IOR.” The focus of the symposium is on capacity building among IOR Navies to tackle emerging maritime threats, as well as discussing cooperative strategies for enhancing interoperability among partner maritime agencies. The event will witness eminent speakers articulating their views on these important issues, which will be followed by theme based discussions. Informal meetings and social engagements are also planned to build synergy and address common concerns with greater engagement, transparency and, more importantly, friendship.

The symposium will be inaugurated by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff.

Mobile Health app for citizens of India Launched by IAF on Air Force Day

On the occasion of 86th anniversary, the Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’ in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush’. The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.

‘MedWatch’ will provide correct, Scientific and authentic health information to airwarriors and all citizens of India. The app is available on www.apps.mgov.gov.in and comprises of host of features like information on basic First Aid, Health topics and Nutritional Facts; reminders for timely Medical Review, Vaccination and utility tools like Health Record Card, BMI calculator, helpline numbers and web links.

‘MedWatch’ is the first mobile health app in the three Armed Services and was launched by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, on Air Force Day,’ at New Delhi on 08 Oct 18. The app was also displayed and showcased to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at Air House in the evening.
The MedWatch mobile health app is an Indian Air Force initiative and a small contribution to our citizen.

ANC celebrates 18th Raising Day: CINCAN reviews Parade

Andaman & Nicobar Command celebrated its 18th Raising Day today on  08 Oct 2018. The only joint-services operational command of the Indian Armed Forces, commemorated its raising, by conducting several events over the last two days and included Barakhana with troops, Run for Fun, and media interaction. The Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command, Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, AVSM, reviewed the parade at INS UTKROSH and awarded Unit Citations for outstanding performance in last one year to Indian Coast Guard, Naval Ship Repair Yard, and 15 ASSAM. In his address, the Commander-in-Chief commended all personnel on their professionalism and alacrity shown in pursuance of the goals of the command. The Admiral informed that the several important projects of strategic significance are underway and the induction of additional assets like an Engineer Regiment, LCUs, FDN-2, BMPs and TA Bn has further added teeth to operational capabilities of the Command. He commended all ranks for successful conduct of DANX and other events like MILAN and CORPATs with Navies of the Indian Ocean Region during the year.

The Commander-in-Chief made a special mention of aid to civil authorities by all components, where 18 medical evacuations were carried out and highlighted the role played by Coast Guard Ship Aruna Asif Ali in saving 348 lives at sea during flooding of MV Swaraj Dweep. He appreciated the efforts towards community outreach by INS Kardip and Coast Guard at Campbell Bay in operating Schools for tribal and local children. The other activities towards social outreach include  multi-specialty medical camps in remote areas and Spirit of Freedom Run wherein 19 schools enroute were motivated to contribute towards ‘Adopt a Tree’ program and were sensitized about ‘Plastic Free Islands’. He shared that in the coming year INS Shibpur will be made available for UDAN scheme to connect remote areas of the Islands. Efforts made by the Command towards safeguarding our environment by way of Segregated Waste Management at all the residential areas of the Command was also appreciated by the CINCAN.      

Bilateral Maritime Exercise Between Japan and India (JIMEX 18) to Commence at Visakhapatnam 

Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Kaga, an Izumo Class Helicopter Destroyer and Inazuma – a Guided Missile Destroyer arrived at Visakhapatnam on 07 October 2018. The JMSDF Ships under the command of Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukada, Commander, Escort Flotilla-4 (CCF-4), would be participating in the third edition of Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) with the ships of Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy (IN) from 07 to 15 October 18. JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance interoperability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.

The IN will be represented by three indigenously designed and built warships and a Fleet Tanker. The ships participating are INS Satpura, multipurpose stealth frigate, INS Kadmatt, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, Missile Corvette and INS Shakti, the Fleet Tanker. In addition, one submarine, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a number of integral helicopters would also be participating in the exercise. The Indian ships participating would be under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet.

JIMEX 18, spread over eight days, will comprise a Harbour Phase and a Sea Phase of four days each. The Harbour Phase of the exercise scheduled from 07 to 10 October 18 will include professional and social interactions between ship’s crews, sports fixtures and operational planning for the Sea Phase. The Sea Phase would include Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises, VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) Drills, Gun Firings, Cross Deck Helo Operations and coordinated operations in Anti-Submarine/ Anti-Air threat scenarios.

The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in Dec 2013 off Chennai. The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relations and the continued efforts of both Governments to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons in keeping with ‘rule based order’. It is pertinent to highlight that JMSDF is a regular participant in the Malabar series of exercises between Indian and US Navies. In addition, the ships of the two navies have been working in close coordination in Anti-Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) for the past few years.

JMSDF Ships also participated in the recently concluded MALABAR 18 off Guam (along with Indian and US Navy units) in the Pacific Ocean in Jun and biennial multilateral exercise  RIMPAC-18 off Hawaii, USA.

Air Force Day Parade 2018

The Indian Air Force is celebrating its 86th Anniversary on 08 Oct 2018.  In the last eight decades, IAF has technologically evolved and grown in strength to thwart any threat to the nation.  It is committed to safeguard the Indian skies and has played a key role in providing assistance to the people of the country during any natural calamity.  Professionalism displayed by air-warriors during various international exercises reaffirms IAF’s ability to be an effective net security provider.  On this day, all men and women of IAF pay rich tribute to the untiring efforts and supreme sacrifice made by veterans, who laid a strong foundation for the service.

 To mark the occasion and in keeping up with the tradition, IAF has planned a grand Parade cum Investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan (Ghaziabad).  Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff will review the parade.  Various dignitaries and veterans will participate in the celebrations.  The parade will be followed by a breath taking display by the Air Warrior Drill Team, wherein the team will showcase their weapon handling skills and carry out diverse manoeuvers with their rifles.  This will be followed by a scintillating air display by wide range of IAF aircraft including our cherished Vintage flight.

The air display will commence with flag bearing sky divers of famous Akash Ganga Team, who will jump from an An-32 aircraft.  Flypast will comprise of Mi-17 V5 and Rudra helicopters, Dornier, C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, Jaguar, Bison, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft.  Dakota, Tiger Moth and Harvard of the IAF Vintage flight will also participate in the flypast.  Post flypast, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) will carry out aerobatic display in front of the audience.  The Ambassadors of Indian Air Force, Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team (SKAT), comprising on nine Hawk 132 aircraft and the Helicopter aerobatics team, Sarang will enthrall the audience with breath taking formation aerobatics display.  After the parade, all visitors will also get an opportunity to witness static display of aircraft, weapon, radar and missiles systems of the Indian Air Force.

General KV Krishna Rao Inaugural Memorial Lecture and Dedicating Shankhnaad to the Nation

The General KV Krishna Rao inaugural memorial lecture was held at the  Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 07 Oct 2018. The inaugural lecture was delivered by distinguished diplomat Mr G Parthasarthy, IFS.  He articulated on ‘India’s Security & Foreign Policy Challenges’ and elucidated on the varied dimensions of national security against the backdrop of current geopolitical milieu. General KV Krishna Rao memorial lecture will be held annually featuring emerging challenges to the national security.

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, delivered the keynote address and highlighted General KV Krishna Rao's role in nation building. ‘Shankhnaad’, a military tune eulogizing the valour of Veer Mahar soldiers,  was also dedicated to the Nation. The tune has been written by Brigadier Vivek Sohal (Retired) and composed by Dr (Mrs) Tanuja Nafde.

A large gathering of serving officers and the veteran community attended the event. The occasion was a unique blend of sharing of personal experiences and leadership style of General KV Krishna Rao by a congregation of prominent speakers and heralded the need for ideation on contemporary national security issues in future.

India and Kazakhstan agree to boost Defence and Military Technical Cooperation

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman was on a three-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan from October 02, 2018 at the invitation of Minister of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Nurlan Yermekbayev. During the visit, she met her Kazakh counterpart and Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Mr. Beibut Atamkulov.  They discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence and military technical cooperation and took stock of the progress that this bilateral relationship has made since the renewal of the MoU on defence cooperation in January 2017. She inspected a Tri-Services Guard of Honour at the Ministry of Defence and also visited the National Defence University where she was shown the Indian Military Art Room (IMAR), which has been established with Indian assistance. 

India and Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs.  Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces Personnel have undergone military training in India till date.  Both countries successfully conducted a company level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan, last month. India and Kazakhstan are bound by historical and cultural ties and this has laid a strong foundation for the multifaceted cooperation.  Both countries are Strategic Partners since 2009.

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Defence Mr. Nurlan Yermekbayev presided over the flag off ceremony of the Kazakhstan contingent that will join the Indian contingent at United Nations International Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon. India’s partnership with Kazakhstan in UN Peacekeeping reflects its desire to support Kazakhstan in its contribution to global peace.  The contingents of both countries worked together over the past one year to prepare for this joint deployment.  The Kazakh contingent will join the Indian Contingent at Lebanon by the end of this month.

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also discussed issues relating to defence production with the Minister for Defence and Aerospace Industry. In this connection, the possibilities of joint production and/or co-production were discussed based upon the relative strengths and experience of both sides. She also discussed regional developments with the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The Kazakhstan FM appreciated India’s position and experience as a major force in UN Peace Keeping and contributor peace building in various parts of the world under the UN mandate. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman invited the Minister of Defence, Mr. Nurlan Yermekbayev and Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry, Mr Beibut Atamkulov to visit India and to attend Aero India 2019 to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019.  The invitations were well received. 

Development Trials of Astra BVR-AAM Completed Successfully

A series of flight trials of Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVR-AAM) was conducted by Indian Air Force during September 26 to October 03, 2018 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore as part of final development trials of the missile. 

The trials were a combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, medium and long ranges. The missiles were telemetered for evaluation of online performance of all sub-systems especially the datalink, RF seeker and proximity fuse for end-game performance. Astra has been tested six times under different launch conditions and ranges as part of the final development trial. The missile has engaged targets and all the mission objectives have been met.

With IAF's active participation, DRDO has developed the missile and integrated the weapon on Su-30 and other air platforms. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Nasik has been instrumental in the modification of a number of Su-30 aircrafts for Astra weapon integration and support during trials. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the development and production of different sub-systems of the missile. The missile is expected to be inducted into IAF in 2019.

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF, HAL and associated industries for successful trials.

IBSAMAR-VI kicks off at Simons Town, South Africa

The sixth edition of IBSAMAR, a joint Multi – National Maritime Exercise between the Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies, is being held at Simons Town, South Africa from 01 – 13 Oct 18. The last edition of IBSAMAR (IBSAMAR V) was conducted off Goa, from 19 – 26 Feb 16. The aim of the exercise is to undertake collective training for participating navies, building interoperability and mutual understanding as well as sharing of best practices.

The Indian Navy is represented in IBSAMAR VI by Guided Missile Frigate Tarkash, Guided Missile Destroyer Kolkata, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Seaking and Chetak helicopters as well as a MARCOS contingent. The Commanding Officers of the IN Ships called on the Chief of Fleet Staff of the SA Navy as well as a few other senior officers and the Magistrate and the Commissioner of Simon's Town. A reception was hosted onboard the Brazilian naval ship BNS Barraso in the evening.

The exercise includes both harbour and sea phases with various navigation and seamanship evolutions, surface weapons firing, force protection exercises, antipiracy exercise, anti-air and anti-submarine exercise as well as flying operations. Apart from professional activities, sports and social engagements are also planned.

Air Marshal Amit Dev VSM takes over as the Director General Air (OPS)

Air Marshal Amit Dev VSM, graduated from National Defence Academy in December 1981 and was commissioned in the Indian Air Force, in the fighter stream of Flying Branch, on 29 Dec 1982.

He has flown various types of fighter and trainer aircraft in the inventory of IAF and has approximately 2500 hours of flying experience.  He is an alumnus of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment, Defence Services Staff College, College of Air Warfare and National Defence College.

In his 36 years of illustrious service, he has held important field and staff appointments that includes command of a fighter squadron, Air Defence Direction Centre, an operational fighter base and Advance HQ, South Western Air Command.  He has served as Joint Director Tactical Operations, Director Air Staff Inspection, Principal Director Air Staff Inspection and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection), at Air HQ.  The Air Officer was Air-I of Central Air Command and Chief Staff Officer (Air Vector) at Strategic Forces Command.

He was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff in 1995 and awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service in 2010.
Air Marshal VR Chaudhari AVSM VM takes over as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari AVSM VM was commissioned into Fighter Stream of the IAF on 29 Dec 1982.  He is an alumni of the National Defence Academy.  The Air Officer has flown various aircraft and is experienced on MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and SU-30MKI with a flying experience over 3800 hrs. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor, a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner.  The Air Marshal has a rich experience of operational flying, having undertaken numerous Air Defence missions during Op-Meghdoot and Op-Safed Sagar.

The Air Officer has been an Air Force Examiner on several types of fighter and trainer aircraft.  He commanded a MiG-29 Squadron and served as the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Station Srinagar.  He commanded a forward base before taking over as Air I at HQ CAC IAF.  He has been an Instructor at DSSC Wellington as well as DSCSC at Zambia.  He served as the AA to the CAS and later commanded Air Force Station Pune. On promotion to AVM, he tenanted the appointment of Deputy Commandant Air Force Academy and as ACAS Ops (Air Defence).  Before taking over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff he was the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar AVSM VM & BAR takes over Command as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar took over as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command of Indian Air Force on 01 October 2018.  

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the IAF as Fighter Pilot in June 1981. He is an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown 42 types of aircraft as Pilot in Command. He has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours on the Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2300 flying hrs on the aircraft to his credit, and a total of 5100 hrs of flying experience. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas”.

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been a Flight commander of a Mirage-2000 Squadron, the Senior Test Pilot and Commanding Officer of the Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE).  He has commanded the oldest Squadron of the IAF, the prestigious No. 1 Squadron. He flew the Mirage-2000 in combat during the Kargil conflict and has flown 25 operational missions. He was the Director of Space Applications at Air HQ and the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Stn Gwalior. He was posted to Embassy of India in Israel as the Defence Attaché. He was the Principle Director of Offensive Operations at Air HQ.  The Air Officer has also held the appointments of Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jamnagar, Commandant ASTE, Air Defence Commander Western Air Commander, Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of Southern Air Command, Training Command and EAC.  Before taking over as the AOC-in-C of EAC, he was the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry by the President of India for the Kargil Operations.  He was awarded a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for flight testing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in 2002, during its first phase of flight testing.  He was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1991 and by the C-in-C of Strategic Force Command in 2005. He was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 2015.

Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora AVSM takes over Command as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command 

Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora AVSM took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar on 01 Oct 18.  He succeeds Air Mshl RK Dhir PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC who retired on 30 Sep 18.  

The Air Marshal was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in Dec 1981.  He has rich and diverse experience of accident free operational flying which includes MiG 21, MiG 29 and other aircraft in IAF inventory, including helicopters. He is a meritorious graduate of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment, Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. He is also Master of Philosophy in Defence and Strategic Studies. 

Air Officer commanded a MiG-21 Bis Sqn in the South Western sector and later was Commander of Air Defence Direction Centre in the same sector. He went on to command a premier MiG-29 Base on the western border and as an Air Vice Marshal he was Air Defence Commander at Headquarters of Western Air Command as well as Eastern Air Command. As an Air Marshal he has held the appointments of Director General (Inspection and Safety) and was Director General Air (Operations) at Air HQ before taking over as the AOC-in-C.

He has also served as Directing Staff at ‘Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment’ and as a Flying Inspector in the ‘Directorate of Air Staff Inspection’.  He was Defence Attache in the Embassy of India, Bangkok, Thailand from 2006 to 2009.

High level meeting between Indian and Vietnamese Coast Guards 

A High Level Meeting between Coast Guards of India and Vietnam was held at Coast Guard Headquarters here today under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2015. Director General Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Shri Rajendra Singhled the Indian side while Commandant, Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) Major General Nguyen VanSonled a six member Vietnamese side. 

During the meeting both sides agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation in accordance with the provisions of MoU. Sharing of best management practices and augmenting operational level interaction were also agreed upon.

Relations between the two Coast Guards go back a long way with ICG ships visiting Vietnam for professional interactions since 2001.This meeting is in continuation of the efforts by the governments of the two countries to enhance cooperation between the Coast Guards in the field of maritime safety and security at sea.

The Commandant along with delegation will be travelling to Chennai to take part in the welcome ceremony of the first Vietnam Coast Guard Ship to India and also participate in the joint exercise scheduled off Chennai on October 04, 2018. The VCG ship CSB 8001 is scheduled to arrive Chennai tomorrow for professional interaction and participating in the joint exercise.

The meeting was significant in providing added impetus to the already existing professional relationship between the Coast Guard of India and Vietnam.

Exercise Aviaindra-18 

The second edition of Exercise Aviaindra, a Biennial Air Force level exercise between Indian and the Russian Federation, was conducted from 17 Sep 18 to 28 Sep 18.  The aim of the exercise was to formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operation in a bilateral scenario. 
The exercise which was conducted at Lipetsk, Russia began with interaction of the Indian contingent with their Russian counterparts.  The aim of the exercise was to learn best practices from one another and it also includes simulator training. The exercise included briefing on Aerospace safety and anti-terrorist air operations.

Chetak Helicopter hard-landing at INS Rajali

At about 0904 hrs this morning, an Indian Navy’s Chetak helicopter (frame number 442) while undertaking a routine training sortie of ‘Dry Winching’ carried out hard-landing at INS Rajali, Arakkonam.
The station rescue team reached the site within minutes of the incident. The crew is safe and no other casualty has been reported. 

The incident is being investigated to ascertain the cause of the hard landing. 
Visit of COAS to Russia

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff is visiting Russia from 01 to 06 October 2018 on an official bilateral visit. During the visit, the Chief of the Army Staff led delegation is scheduled to meet Senior Military hierarchy of Russian Armed Forces and visit Key Military formations and establishments.

General Bipin Rawat shall be visiting Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy, Headquarters of Western Military District at St Petersburg and General Staff Academy and Headquarters of a Motorised Rifle Division at Moscow. The visit is yet another milestone in giving impetus to the strategic partnership between India and Russia and taking forward the military to military cooperation to the next level.

ICG to embark on voluntary discarding of Plastic Campaign

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is launching a campaign for voluntary discarding of the use of plastic in Coast Guard premises from tomorrow.

In order to lead by example and in support of the government policy 'Swachhata Hi Seva Movement', Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi has issued direction to all Coast Guard units in the country for encouraging ICG personnel for voluntarily discarding of plastic. The campaign will be launched from October 02, 2018 to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. 

During the campaign, ICG will conduct seminar/lectures, make available environment friendly bags and spread awareness amongst the masses through posters/banners/placards. 

Coast Guard Wives Welfare Association, a volunteer organization of ICG, shoulders the responsibility in taking the lead for spreading the campaign amongst ladies and children of the society through frequent interactions.

ICG will carry this campaign to the Coastal populace through various platforms such as community interaction programme, meetings with fisheries associations/community heads, etc.

The Coast Guard Act, 1978 mandates Indian Coast Guard to preserve and protect marine environment and prevent and control marine pollution. Further, Coast Guard has been nominated as Competent National Authority by Government of India in March 2018 for co-operation on the Response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region.

Violation of Air Space at Poonch District of J & K

On 30 Sep 18 in noon hours, Indian Air Force radars picked up a helicopter in PoK opposite Poonch sector approaching LoC.  IAF fighter aircraft was scrambled after it had reached close to 8 kms.  Radar pick up was seen upto 600 m from LoC.  Fighter which was scrambled stayed 10 km from LoC.  In the mean time, the helicopter was also spotted visually reportedly violating Indian airspace.  Indian Army posts deployed in the area fired small arms at the Hepter.  Hepter was seen heading back towards PoK by the Army posts.  There being no further activity, the scrambled fighter aircraft landed back.
18TH Raising Day of HQ IDS

On the 18th Raising Day of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Chief of IDS Lt Gen Satish Dua laid wreath at Amar JawanJyoti, India Gate to pay homage to the martyrs. Senior officers of the Army, Navy and the Air Force of the IDS were also present during the ceremony.

HQ IDS was raised on October 01, 2001 and during 17 years, this ‘Tri-Service Entity’ with an overarching aim of ‘Victory Through Jointness’ has led in the conduct of Disaster Relief Operations, Tri­Service Exercises, both within the Services and outside with the friendly foreign countries, training leaders of the Tri-Service Institutes and strengthening of the intelligence gathering structure of the nation. In the forefront, the IDS is spearheading  realization  of Defence  Cyber  Agency, Defence  Space  Agency  and  Special  Operations  Division  for  the  three Services.

On this day, the HQ also conducted a number of events for the troops and the families of IDS. Conveying his compliments on the occasion, Lt Gen Dua exhorted all ranks of the 'Purple Fraternity', colour of jointmanship of the three Services, to continue to strive in keeping with the highest ideals of the Armed Forces and wished them for a great future ahead.

Air Marshal Anil Khosla PVSM AVSM VM took over as Vice Chief of Air Staff

 Air Marshal Anil Khosla PVSM AVSM VM took over as the Vice Chief of Air Staff on 01 Oct 2018
 Born on 09 Apr 59, Air Marshal an alumni of the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in Indian Air Force in Dec 79. Air officer has over 4000 hours of accident free flying mainly on different variants of Jaguar, Mig-21 and Kiran aircraft. 

Air Officer has been Directing Staff at prestigious institutions like Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Flying Instructor School (FIS). He has commanded a Jaguar squadron with maritime role and two frontline bases of the IAF at Jaisalmer & Ambala. As an Air Marshal he has held appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command, Director General Air (Operations) at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan) and Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air HQ (RK Puram).  His last appointment was AOC-in-C EAC.

For his distinguished service Air Marshal Anil Khosla has been awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal,Vayu Sena Medal and has been commended by the CAS. He was also commended by AOC-in-C, during flying training period as a cadet. 

He is married to Mrs Deepshikha Khosla and is blessed with two sons.  He is a keen golfer and billiards/pool player.  His favourite pass time is puzzle solving which he has pursued upto national level.

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