Defence India News

Indian Army Contingent Leaves For Alaska For Joint Exercise

The joint exercise will take place from September 25 to October 8 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, US…reports Asian Lite News

Indian army contingents participating in joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas 2023’ with the US army on Monday departed New Delhi for Alaska.

“#IndianArmy contingents participating in the Joint Military Exercise #YudhAbhyas with #USArmy and ‘ADMM plus EWG’ with #ASEAN Nations departed from #NewDelhi,” Additional Directorate General of Public Information of the Indian Army wrote on ‘X’ formerly Twitter on Monday.

“Before departure, Director General #Infantry interacted with the contingents and encouraged the contingents to display the highest standards of training & imbibe the best practices of the participating nations,” the tweet read.

The exercise will entail exchanging the best practices, enhancing interoperability and strengthening the bond between the two Armies.

“Indian Army contingent will be participating in 19th Edition of joint military Exercise Yudh Abhyas at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, USA. The Exercise will entail exchanging best practices and enhancing interoperability to mutually learn from each other & strengthen the bond between the two Armies,” the official handle of the Indian Army posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The joint exercise will take place from September 25 to October 8 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, US.

Indian Army contingent comprising of 350 personnel will participate in this edition of the Exercise. The lead battalion from Indian side is affiliated to MARATHA Light Infantry Regiment.

1-24 Infantry Battalion of 1st Brigade Combat Team will participate from the US side. Both sides will practice a series of tactical drills to enhance interoperability in conducting UN peacekeeping operations. Personnel from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experiences and best practices.

The theme of the Exercise is ‘Employment of an Integrated Battle Group in Mountain/ Extreme Climatic Conditions’ under Chapter VII of United Nations mandate.

According to a release by the Defence Ministry, the Field Training Exercise includes validation of Integrated Battle Groups against hostile forces at the Brigade level, Integrated Surveillance Grid at the Brigade/ Battalion level, employment of Heliborne/ Airborne elements and Force Multipliers, validation of logistics and casualty management during operations, evacuation and combat medical aid and other aspects as applicable to High Altitude Areas and Extreme Climatic Conditions.

“EX YUDH ABHYAS-23” will facilitate both Armies to mutually learn from each other and further strengthen the bonds between the two armies said the release. (ANI)

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Indian Army Honors Fallen Heroes in Kokernag Encounter

Major Dhonchak, 34, a resident of Haryana’s Panipat, had joined the Army in 2013. He issurvived by his wife and a young daughter…reports Asian Lite News

As the nation paid tributes to the colonel, a major, and a DSP who were killed in the line of duty during an encounter in Kokernag area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the Army on Thursday said that the operation is still under progress and two more personnel have been injured.

“On receipt of specific intelligence inputs about the presence of two to three terrorists and a likely hideout in general area of village Garol, Anantnag, a joint search operation was launched by Indian Army and JKP on night of 12-13 September.

“A cordon was established and a detailed search of the village was conducted. Based on further leads, obtained during the search, it was ascertained that the terrorists were in a hideout in the higher reaches above the village which was covered with dense foliage and undergrowth,” the Army said in a statement. ​

“Search columns, to the higher reaches were being led from the front by Col Manpreet Singh, Sena Medal, Commanding Officer of 19 RR Bn and Maj Aashish Dhonchak, Sena Medal, Company Commander of Kokernag Company of 19 RR Bn. The columns moved through re-entrants and rugged terrain which had dense foliage and undergrowth. On  September 13, at approximately 12.30 p.m., troops came under heavy fire. They retaliated, and engaged the terrorists,” it added.

It said that in the ensuing fire fight, Col Singh, Maj Dhonchak, and DSP Humayun suffered gunshot wounds and later succumbed, “laying down their lives in service to the Nation in the finest traditions of the Indian Army and Security Forces”.

The army said mortal remains of the two army officers were retrieved through specialised operations in the treacherous terrain.

“In the ensuing operations two more personnel have been injured. The operation is still under progress.”

​Col Singh, 41, a resident of Haryana’s Panchkula, had joined the Army in 2005. He is survived by his wife and two young children. ​

Major Dhonchak, 34, a resident of Haryana’s Panipat, had joined the Army in 2013. He issurvived by his wife and a young daughter.

​Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, Chinar Corps Commander, Lt Gen Rajiv Ghai, along with the J&K Chief Secretary, the Security Advisor to the Lt Governot, the DGP and numerous other dignitaries have laid wreaths to pay homage to the bravehearts in a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt on Thursday.

“The mortal remains of late Col Manpreet Singh and late Major Aashish Dhonchak have been transported by a special aircraft for last rites to their native hometowns where they would be laid to rest with full military honours. In this hour of grief, the Indian Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity, safety and well being,” the army statement said.

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Indian Army adopts common uniform for Brigadier and above ranks

A standard uniform will ensure a common identity for all senior-rank officers and reflect the true ethos of the Indian Army….reports Asian Lite News

The Indian Army has implemented a new common uniform regulation for senior officers with Brigadier and above ranks irrespective of the parent cadre and initial appointment, Army officials said.

They said the move will reinforce common identity and Indian Army’s character as a fair and equitable organisation. The decision was taken after detailed deliberations during the recently-concluded Army Commanders Conference and extensive consultations with all stakeholders.

Officials said that headgear, shoulder rank badges, gorget patches, belt and shoes of senior officers of flag rank (Brigadier and above) will now be common and standardised. The flag-rank officers will now not wear any lanyard.

The step has been taken to promote and strengthen common identity and approach in service matters amongst senior leadership beyond the boundaries of regiments, officials said.

Brigadier and above officers are those who have already commanded units and battalions and are mostly posted at headquarters or establishments where officers from all arms and services work and function together.

A standard uniform will ensure a common identity for all senior-rank officers and reflect the true ethos of the Indian Army, officials said.

There is no change in the uniform worn by Colonels and officers below that rank, Army officials said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said 20 vacancies for Women Army cadets per year have been allotted in National Defence Academy, Pune with effect from July 2022. He said that Short Service Commission has 90 vacancies for women including 10 additional

vacancies increased with effect from June 2023.

However, Bhatt said, approval has been given, since March 2023 for the induction of women officers into Artillery units as well as Remount and Veterinary Corps.

He said the entry of women officers as pilots in Army Aviation commenced with effect from

June 2021, and the enrolment of women in other ranks in the Corps of Military Police in the Indian Army commenced in 2019.

As per the Minister, the total number of women in Indian Army medical cadres, as on July 1, 2023, is 1,212 in Army Medical Corps (AMC); 168 in Army Dental Corps (ADC); 3,841 in Military Nursing Service (MNS).

He also added that the total number of women officers in the Indian Army (excluding AMC, ADC and MNS) as on January 1, 2023 is 1,733.

Bhatt was responding to the query of CPI MP Sandosh Kumar P when he asked about the number of women in Indian Army medical and non-medical cadres; and the government’s plan to increase the number of women in the Indian Army

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Punjab Regiment’s Parisian March After a Century

The soldiers from the Punjab Regiment are poised to embark on a momentous march in Paris, marking a historic moment after 107 years. This extraordinary occasion, reminiscent of the past, highlights the enduring ties between India and France.

The absence of Indian soldiers in the 2017 Hollywood film “Dunkirk” caused disappointment among Indians, particularly those with an interest in military history, Khalsa Vox reported.

The film, based on the Battle of France and the evacuation of Allied soldiers from Dunkirk during World War II, failed to acknowledge the role of Indian soldiers from the British Indian Army in both World Wars.

Despite the oversight by Western media, an iconic black-and-white photograph emerged during the release of “Dunkirk,” capturing a French woman pinning a flower on a Sikh (Indian) soldier.

This image, dating back to the First World War, symbolizes the contribution of Indian soldiers, possibly from the Sikh Regiment, in saving France from German occupation in 1916.

Now, more than a century later, history comes full circle as soldiers from the Punjab Regiment, now part of the Indian Army, prepare to embark on a journey to France. They will participate in the Bastille Day parade in Paris, scheduled to take place on July 14.

This year’s parade holds even greater significance as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited as the Guest of Honour on the French National Day.

“The Bastille Day parade will feature a 269-member tri-services contingent from the Indian Armed Forces marching alongside their French counterparts,” said Colonel Sudhir Chamoli, spokesperson for the Indian Army.

The visit serves as a testament to the enduring bond between the Indian and French armies, dating back to World War I.

During the First World War, over 1.3 million Indian soldiers participated, with nearly 74,000 losing their lives and 67,000 sustaining injuries.

Notably, Indian troops demonstrated their bravery and made significant contributions to the war effort on French soil. Their valor and sacrifices played a crucial role in securing victory against the enemy.

The Punjab Regiment has participated in both World Wars and various post-independence operations. In World War I, the Punjab Regiment received 18 Battle and Theatre Honours, fighting in locations such as Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Palestine, Egypt, China, Hongkong, Damascus, and France.

Their involvement in France included an offensive near Neuve Chapelle in September 1915, earning them the Battle Honours “Loos” and “France and Flanders”, Khalsa Vox reported.

During World War II, a staggering 2.5 million Indian soldiers made notable contributions in various theatres of the war, including France. The Punjab Regiment, among others, earned 16 Battle Honours and 14 Theatre Honours, solidifying their reputation as valiant fighters.

Accompanying the Indian contingent is the Rajputana Rifles Regiment Band, representing the seniormost rifle regiment of the Indian Army. The Rajput Regiment has a long and illustrious history, having participated in numerous battles across the world.

Their contributions during World War II were particularly notable, and they were awarded six Victoria Crosses prior to India’s independence. The regiment’s band was established in 1920 in Nasirabad, Rajasthan, during the British era, Khalsa Vox reported.

As history’s wheel takes another momentous turn, the resolute soldiers of India take immense pride in marching through the vibrant streets of Paris. Their footsteps echo a legacy of unwavering bravery, indomitable valor, and the spirit of sacrifice shared between nations.

With their distinguished presence in the illustrious Bastille Day parade, the esteemed Punjab Regiment becomes an emblematic symbol of the enduring friendship etched between India and France.

This remarkable display not only pays homage to their intertwined military history but also reinforces the profound bond that binds these nations together.

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Indian Army chief calls on Bangladesh PM  

The Army chief will be reviewing the POP at IMA, Dehradun on June 10 and present the Bangladesh Medal and the trophy…reports Asian Lite News

Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Pande on Tuesday called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also visited the country’s military academy in Chattogram where he reviewed a passing out parade.

Gen Pande, who arrived here on Monday on a two-day visit to Bangladesh – his second trip to the country as Army chief, paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Hasina, the High Commission of India here tweeted.

Earlier, he visited the Bangladesh Military Academy and also felicitated the award winners of the passing out course for their exemplary performance.

“General Manoj Pande #COAS reviewed the Passing Out Parade at Bangladesh Military Academy #BMA, #Bangladesh as Chief Guest. #COAS commended the passing out cadets for an impeccable turnout & parade display,” the Additional Directorate General of Public Information said in a tweet.

The Indian Army chief interacted with the cadets and presented the ‘Bangladesh India Friendship Trophy’ instituted for the best foreign cadet from friendly foreign countries of the passing out course from the BMA.

The first trophy this year is being awarded to officer cadet Everton of Tanzania. This trophy is in reciprocation to the ‘Bangladesh Trophy and Medal’ instituted at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun in December 2021 for the best foreign cadet passing out the course, the Army said in a statement.

The Army chief will be reviewing the POP at IMA, Dehradun on June 10 and present the Bangladesh Medal and the trophy.

On Monday, Gen Pande met his Bangladeshi counterpart General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed here and discussed various aspects of mutual interest and explored ways to further expand bilateral defence and security ties.

The Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) – the media wing of the Bangladesh Armed Forces – said the two army chiefs discussed the existing bilateral ties and future cooperation for the progress of the two countries.

“The Indian Army chief’s visit is expected to play an important role in promoting relations between Bangladesh and India,” the statement added.

He also interacted with Lt Gen Waker-Uz-Zaman, Principal Staff Officer, Armed Forces Division, and discussed aspects of mutual interest.

The Indian Army chief visited Bangladesh in July last year on his first foreign visit after assuming charge of the top post.

Gen Pande laid a wreath at Shikha Anirban and paid tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives for the Liberation of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff visited India in April this year and reviewed the passing out parade at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai.

The Indian High Commission in a statement said that these high-level exchanges of visits “provide an opportunity to both sides to renew the close bonds of friendship and fraternal ties that exist between the Armed Forces of India and Bangladesh”.

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Indian Army sets up new units to tackle cyber warfare

Indian Army has operationalised new specialist units to counter China, Pak in cyber warfare…reports Asian Lite News

Amid the rising activities of adversaries China and Pakistan in the online domain to target India, the Indian Army has operationalised new specialist units to counter these threats and challenges under its cyber warfare initiatives.

The decision was taken during the Army Commanders Conference held in the third week of this month headed by Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande.
“To safeguard the communication networks and increase preparedness levels in this niche domain, Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSW) are being raised in Indian Army,” government sources said here.

They said that Cyberspace has emerged as an important component of the military domain both in grey zone warfare as well as conventional operations,” they said.

Highlighting the importance and requirement of such specialist units, the sources said the expansion of cyber warfare capabilities by our adversaries has made the cyber domain more competitive and contested than ever before.

“The Indian Army today is rapidly migrating towards net centricity, which entails an increased reliance on modern communication systems at all levels,” they said.

Specifying the role of these new units, the sources said: “These organisations will assist the formations to undertake the mandated cyber security functions to strengthen the cyber security posture of the Indian Army.”

In the last few years, the Army has taken multiple steps to counter the aggression of adversaries in the form of virtual honey trapping and hacking.

The Defence Cyber Agency is working at the tri-services level to deal with these issues. (ANI)

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India, China Face-Off In Arunachal, ‘Minor Injuries’ On Both Sides

Top sources confirmed that a clash occurred between the two sides along the disputed section of the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9 at Yangtse.

Chinese troops approached the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh last week, but Indian troops firmly contested their way, leading to a clash between the two, sources said on Monday.

Although no loss of life or major injuries were reported but both some Indian and Chinese troops received some minor injuries during this clash, a source said.

It is the first physical clash between the two armies since August 2020 in eastern Ladakh. There was another incident in October 2021 at Yangtse, 35 km northeast of Tawang, where the Chinese attempt to get access to the top of 17,000 feet peak was thwarted and the area is now under snow and will remain so till March.

Top sources confirmed that a clash occurred between the two sides along the disputed section of the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9 at Yangtse.

Soon after the clash, troops of both India and China immediately were disengaged from the area.

Accordig to the sources, the face-off in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh was the first incident of clashes between Indian and Chinese troops since the confrontation at eastern Ladakh.

There has been face-offs in this area in the past too.

Earlier this month China had also objected to the Indo-US joint military exercise at Auli in Uttarakhand. India had, however, dismissed China’s objection, saying it did not give a veto to third countries on these issues.

Hitting back at China, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said the joint exercises with the US in Auli has nothing to do with the 1993 and 1996 agreements with China.

Over 300 Chinese soldiers involved

Meanwhile, sources said on Monday that the number of Chinese soldiers injured in the clash is more than the Indian soldiers,.

They said the Chinese had come heavily prepared with around 300 soldiers but did not expect the Indian side also to be well prepared. The sources said earlier that the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Tawang sector led to minor injuries to few personnel from both sides and noted that both sides immediately disengaged from the area.

They said on December 9, 2022, PLA troops contacted the LAC in Tawang Sector of Arunachal Pradesh which was contested by Indian troops in a firm and resolute manner.

They said as a follow-up of the incident, India’s Commander in the area held a Flag Meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity.

The sources said that in certain areas along the LAC in the Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh there are areas of differing perception, wherein both sides patrol the area upto their claim lines. This has been the trend since 2006.

Congress wants discussion on clashes

he Congress on Tuesday moved notices in both Houses of Parliament on clashes with Chinese PLA at Arunachal border.

Party MP Manish Tewari has given an adjournment notice in the Lok Sabha while Syed Naseer Hussain has given notice for a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

Tewari in the notice said, “I wish to draw the attention of the Government to the grave border situation with China emerging from the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. These clashes took place at a nullah along the LAC near a point called the Yangtze in Eastern Tawang.”

“At least 6 of our soldiers have been reportedly injured and taken to Guwahati for treatment. There are also concerns about major gaps in military deployment in certain border areas of Arunachal Pradesh. These clashes are in addition to what has been happening in Eastern Ladakh where, despite multiple rounds of talks, 16 in total till 30 November 2022, China has vehemently refused to vacate areas it reportedly occupied after the major clash on May 5, 2020. The crises in areas such as Depsang and Demchok remain unresolved. Locals that had hitherto travelled to the Charding La-Nilung Nalla Junction have been denied access by the Chinese. “

The notice says, “China has, in the meantime, built substantial military infrastructure all across the Line of Actual Control. China is unwilling to restore the status quo ante in Eastern Ladakh, a situation that puts India at a massive disadvantage. I, therefore, urge the Government to inform the House of the situation in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh and the overall border situation with China because it concerns India’s sovereignty and independence.

Top sources confirmed that a clash occurred between the two sides along the disputed section of the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9 at Yangtze.

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Gen Manoj Pande Takes Charge As Indian Army Chief

General Manoj Pande on Saturday took over as the new Indian Army chief following the retirement of General Manoj Mukund Naravane after 42 years in service.

Gen Pande had serving as the Vice Chief before being appointed as Army Chief. He became the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to helm the force.

Born on May 6, 1962, Gen Pande was commissioned on December 24, 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) of the Indian Army.

During his long and distinguished service spanning over 39 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments.

The Command appointments of Gen Pande include Command of an Engineer Brigade in the Western Theatre, as part of Strike Corps and an Infantry Brigade along with Line-of-Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Other important Command appointments include a Mountain Division in the high-altitude area of the Western Ladakh and Command of a Corps, deployed along the LAC and in Counter Insurgency Operations area of Eastern Command.

In the rank of Lt General, the officer has held important appointments including that of Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and as the GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command at Kolkata before getting appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

General Manoj Pande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC takes over as the 29th Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army from General MM Naravane.

He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and has undergone courses at Staff College, Camberley (UK), Army War College, Mhow and National Defence College, New Delhi.

For his illustrious service, Gen Pande has been conferred with Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.

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DRDO successfully flight-tests Army’s surface to air missile

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted two successful flight tests of the Indian Army’s version of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News

The tests, conducted at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, were carried out as part of the live firing trials against high-speed aerial targets.

The first test was to intercept a medium-altitude, long-range target and the second against a low-altitude, short-range target. The missiles intercepted the targets and destroyed them completely, registering direct hits at both ranges.

Developed jointly by DRDO and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), for use by the Indian Army, the MRSAM Army weapon system comprises multi-function radar, mobile launcher system, and other vehicles.

The flight tests were carried out with the weapon system in deliverable configuration.

The performance of the weapon system was validated through the flight data captured by range instruments like radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry deployed by ITR, Chandipur.

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Senior officials from the DRDO and the Indian Army were present at the test site.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO, the Indian Army, and the industry for the successful flight tests of MRSAM-Army, saying both the successful tests establish the capability of the weapon system in intercepting targets at critical ranges.

Defence R&D Secretary and DRDO Chairman Dr G. Satheesh Reddy complimented the teams involved in the successful flight trials and termed these tests major milestones for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

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Indian Army honours Gen Rawat, sets up Chair at USI

Late General Bipin Rawat who served as India’s first CDS was an outstanding professional and was in the midst of steering one of the most radical transformations of the Indian military….reports Asian Lite News

The Indian Army has dedicated a Chair of Excellence in memory of late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat at the United Service Institution of India (USI) on the eve of his 65th birthday.

The formal announcement was made by General M.M. Naravane, Chief of Army Staff and Officiating Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, at a ceremony organised at the South Block on Tuesday.

Indian Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, Vice Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Air Marshal B.R. Krishna and Deputy Chiefs of the Army Staff Lt Gen S.K. Sharma also attended the event.

A cheque of Rs 5 lakh was handed over to Maj Gen B.K. Sharma (retd), Director, USI which will be paid as honourarium to the nominated Chair of Excellence.

Pic credits @adgpi

Late General Bipin Rawat who served as India’s first CDS as well as the 27th Chief of Indian Army was an outstanding professional and was in the midst of steering one of the most radical transformations of the Indian military.

Gen Rawat Memorial Chair of Excellence will focus on the field of Jointness and Integration.

The Chair of Excellence is a befitting tribute to the astute leadership and professionalism of the General.

Pic credits @adgpi

On the occasion, the Army Chief recounted that General Rawat was passionate about strategic thoughts and invested considerable time and energy in the activities of various Think Tanks and therefore, his 65th birthday provided an opportune moment to reinforce the Services’ bond with their intellectual institutions.

The Chair will be open to Veterans of three Services and civilians having expertise in the field of National Security.

General Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 12 armed personnel were killed in a chopper crash on December 8, 2021.

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