STATE OF DEFENCE 2016

To expedite capacity building, as well as offensive capabilities of the Armed Forces, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the apex body of the Ministry of Defence in matters of acquisitions, cleared different critical and high end defence procurement proposals to the tune of more than 1 lakh crore.

The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 was promulgated for capital procurements and came into effect from 1st April.  DPP-2016 has a focus on achieving the ‘Make in India’ vision by according priority to ‘Buy Indian – IDDM (Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured) and ‘Buy (Indian)’ categories. It also focuses on enhancement and rationalization of indigenous content.

The Ministry of Defence also issued guidelines for penalties in business dealings with entities, which have come into effect from 21 November. The guidelines lay down policy for levy of financial penalties and / or suspension / banning of business dealings with entities, seeking to enter into contract with / having entered into a contract for the procurement of goods and services by the Ministry of Defence. ‘Entities’ will include companies, trusts, societies, as well as individuals and their associations with whom the Ministry of Defence has entered into, or intends to enter into, or could enter into contracts or agreements.

Current Situation in J&K: The security situation in J&K is at an important crossroads. Cease Fire Violations (CFVs) which saw a meteoric rise in the preceding months, wherein more than 70 incidents of calibre escalation to Artillery/ 120 mm Mortar were attempted by Pakistan. This has seen a drastic reduction in CFVs post the DGsMO level talks which took place on 23 November 2016. Relentless operations by the Army both, along the Line of Control (LC) and in the hinterland in concert with other security forces have thwarted the designs of the nexus to give a fillip to the proxy war being waged against India. Army along with CAPF and JKP continues to put in relentless efforts to bring back normalcy to the Kashmir Valley.

Situation Along LAC: There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas between India and China.  From time to time, on account of differing perception of the LAC, situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC.  Army regularly takes up any such situation along the LAC with the Chinese side through established mechanism including border personnel meeting, flag meetings, meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs and diplomatic channels.

Surgical Strikes along Line of Control: Based on specific and credible inputs about some terrorist teams having positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other States, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on 29 September at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists.

The operations were focussed on ensuring that these terrorists did not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens. During these counter terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them.

TRAINING EVENTS & MILITARY EXERCISES

Indo – French Joint Military ‘Exercise Shakti – 2016’ was conducted from 6 to 16 January 2016. ‘Exercise Shakti-2016’ is the seventh edition in the series of bilateral exercises. The exercise was conducted in two phases. Both armies shared valuable combat experience on countering terrorist operations in an international environment.

Indo-Nepal Combined Military Training ‘Exercise Surya Kiran IX’ was conducted at Pithoragarh from 08 to 21 February 2016 under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade/ Central Command. An Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army and Shree Rudra Dhoj Battalion of the Nepalese Army participated.

India – Indonesia Joint Training ‘Exercise Garuda Shakti IV’ The fourth edition of the joint exercise was conducted for 13 days from 10 to 23 March 2016 at Magelang, Indonesia. A platoon of an Infantry Battalion from Southern Command theatre carried out joint training with a platoon from 503 Airborne Battalion of the Indonesian Army.

‘Exercise Force -18’, the largest ground forces multinational field training exercise on ‘Humanitarian Mine Action and Peacekeeping Operations’ culminated at Pune on 8 March 2016. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Dalbir Singh presided over the closing ceremony. The week long exercise saw participation of over 300 foreign participants and observers from ASEAN Plus countries. Lt Col Sofia Qureshi was selected to lead the Indian army training contingent of 40 personnel during this exercise. She was the first woman to lead the Indian Army in an 18-nation military exercise.

‘Exercise Shatrujeet’: COAS General Dalbir Singh witnessed ‘Exercise Shatrujeet’ in Rajasthan on 22 April 2016. The COAS was briefed on operational plans and conduct of the exercise by GOC, Strike Corps Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan. The exercise is part of regular training where the Strike Corps practices and hones war fighting skills.

‘Exercise Chakravyuh-II’: In a follow up to ‘Exercise Shatrujeet’ by the Strike Corps (Strike One) in April 2016, the pivot formations held the fortnight-long military training exercise, ‘Exercise Chakravyuh-II’ in Rajasthan. The exercise conceptualized by the Pivot Corps involved rapid mobilization and execution of plans in sync with the Air Force in desert terrain. It was a success. The exercise validated the battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the RAPID Division along with all its affiliated components.

‘Exercise Jalrahat’: As a step towards achieving the goals of National Disaster Management Plan 2016 released by the Prime Minister on 1 June 2016 and with the outlines of identifying high risk disaster areas and coordination between the Armed Forces, NDRF and State Disaster Management Agencies along with other State Emergency services, a mock exercise and demonstration under ‘Exercise Jalrahat’ was conducted on 29 June 2016 in Shantipur area of Guwahati on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

‘Exercise Maitree’:   A joint exercise of the Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army was held from 15 to 30 July 2016 in Thailand. The aim was to train contingents of both armies on conduct of counter-terrorist operations in an urban environment. The exercise was designed to enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the two armies.

‘Exercise Yudh Abhyas’: As part of the continuing Indo – US defence cooperation, the 12th edition of the joint military training ‘Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2016’ was conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 14 to 27 September 2016. The exercise was in a series of one of the longest running joint military training exercises covering counter-terrorist operations under the flagship of UN for countering international terrorism. It included a series of training events such as cordon and search operation, cliff chop assaults and other training events covering operational activities carried out under the flag of UN Mission.

Indian Army Medical Team Participated in the Joint Exercise of ASEAN PLUS countries in Thailand in September 2016. Exercise was based on humanitarian action during natural calamity.

Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise: As a part of India’s continued efforts to strengthen Indo-Kazakh relations, Armies of the two countries had undergone a 14-day joint exercise ‘Prabal Dostyk’ in September 2016. The exercise was conducted in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan.

‘Indra – 2016’: As part of continued efforts to further strengthen Indo-Russian friendship, troops of two sides, participated in the eight edition of Joint ‘Exercise Indra – 2016’ from 22 September to 2 October 2016. The 11-day exercise focused on Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in semi-mountainous and jungle terrain under the UN mandate. The exercise was held at the 249th Combined Arms Range, Sergiveskey.

‘Sino – Indian Joint  Exercise’: As part of the ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China, under the provisions of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, 2013, the Indian and Chinese armies held their Second Joint Exercise ‘Sino India Cooperation 2016’ on 19 October 2016. This was a sequel to the first Joint Exercise held on 6 February 2016 in the Chusul Garrison of Eastern Ladakh.

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

Army Everest Massif Expedition to Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse:The Indian Army Everest Massif Expedition to scale Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse, was flagged off by Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen MMS Rai, on 29 March 2016 in New Delhi. The 30-member team of 5 Officers, 4 Junior Commissioned Officers and 21 Other Ranks was led by Lt Col RS Jamwal, a reputed climber.

Chinar Corps Centenary Expedition to Mt Harmukh: A 45-member team of Indian Army mountaineers led by Col SS Shekhawat, who had scaled Mt Everest thrice earlier, scaled the formidable peak of Harmukh on 21 May 2016 as part of the Chinar Corps’ centenary celebrations. Harmukh at 5148m lies in the North Western Himalayan range.

Joint Indo-Kyrgyz Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Jogin III: A 23-member team conducted the expedition from 30 August to 25 September 2016 in Harsil sector of Garhwal Himalaya (Uttarakhand). The team included nine members from the Kyrgyz Army. It successfully completed the expedition.

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND DISASTER RELIEF (HADR)

Vivekananda Flyover Collapse.       Kolkata witnessed the collapse of the Vivekananda Flyover on 31 March 2016. The civil authorities immediately called the Army to carry out rescue operations. On arrival rescue work was coordinated with civil administration and the NDRF.

SPORTS

International Day of Yoga – 2016: This year approximately 4 lakh Jawans and Officers participated in the International Day of Yoga – 2016 across the entire length and breadth of the nation.

Three World Records Established By Indian Army Dare Devils: Dare Devil team of Corps of Signals set a new world record on 09 September 2016 at 1 Signal Training Centre, Jabalpur. The world record for ‘longest continuous ride standing on the seat of a motor cycle’ was broken by Capt Manpreet Singh (Team Captain “Dare Devils”) covering a distance of 75.2km in  2 hrs 24 min and 12 secs. The world record for ‘Handle Bar Riding on a Motorcycle’ under fresh category was broken by Lance Havildar Sandeep Kumar, covering a distance of 46.9km in 01 hr 27 min and 31 secs. The world record for ‘Fastest 100m running with a football balanced on the head’ was broken by Subedar Azad Singh with a time of 17.7 secs.

MISCELLANEOUS EVENTS

The Directorate Of Indian Army Veterans launched:     COAS General Dalbir Singh inaugurated the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) on 14 January 2016 at Delhi Cantt. The Directorate will provide a wide range of veteran care and support services and will act as a single point of contact for redressal of complaints of veterans, widows and their wards. The inauguration of the new Directorate coincided with the first ever celebration of Veterans Day.

Release of Beta Version of Integrated Quartermaster Package (IQMP) For The Indian Army: The beta version was released by Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen MMS Rai, on 29 January 2016 as a pre-cursor to the final release of IQMP. As part of ongoing efforts, DGIS with the help of M/s Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. has developed IQMP for automating all logistics functions at the unit level. It will also cater for exchange of info and data with Logistics Management Support applications through CMA (Central Management Application) hosted at Army Headquarters Computer Centre. This avoids replication and achieves the aim of automation.

Colour Presentation to Signals Corps: COAS Gen Dalbir Singh presented the President’s Colours to the Corps of Signals of Indian Army at Gauri Shankar Parade Ground of 1 Signal Training Centre, Jabalpur on 15 February 2016.

A Multispecialty Dental Wing For Veterans:  On the occasion of Platinum Jubilee Celebration of the Army Dental Corps, a Multispecialty Dental Wing for veterans was inaugurated by the COAS Gen Dalbir Singh on 10 February 2016 at Army Dental Clinic (Research & Referral), Delhi.

Cardio Thoracic Vascular Clinic Inaugurated:        COAS Gen Dalbir Singh inaugurated the Cardio Thoracic Vascular Clinic on 16 April 2016. The clinic is a part of the newly constructed 200 bedded Cardio Thoracic Vascular Science Centre in the premises of Army Hospital (Research & Referral), Delhi.

Defence Communication Network: The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar, dedicated the Defence Communication Network (DCN) to the Nation on 30 June 2016 in New Delhi. He complimented the three Services on putting in place a communication system to facilitate jointmanship. He further stressed on the need for keeping the network secure.

Army Skill Training Centre: The pilot project of the Army Skill Training Centre (ASTC) was inaugurated by President AWWA Mrs Namita Suhag on 22 August 2016 in Delhi. The Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, COAS Gen Dalbir Singh and other senior officials were present. With the inauguration of the ASTC, the Indian Army now embarks on a new mission by bringing Army spouses and wards into the folds of the skilling landscape. Army personnel and their spouses/wards who attend training at ASTC will receive skill certificate from NSDC and will become eligible for employment/ entrepreneurship under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna scheme.

‘Make In India’ Portal On Army Website Launched: COAS Gen Dalbir Singh formally announced establishment of the Army Design Bureau (ADB) on 31 August 2016 during an Army Seminar on ‘Make Projects’ held in New Delhi. The COAS also launched the ‘Make in India’ Portal on the Army Website.

Inauguration of Military Station: Berhampore Military station in West Bengal was inaugurated by the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 8 October 2016. The military station located 25 Km from Murshidabad has been developed as a model military station to include state-of-the-art training and administrative facilities for the Army.

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