Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

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chetak
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 15 Nov 2014 10:29

India’s military law framework almost derailed with bizarre judgement by AFT



Sukna Scam
BY JAY BHATTACHARJEE

The nation’s armed forces have an enviable position in the country’s institutional pedestal. For the last seven decades or so, the soldiers, sailors and air warriors have basked in the esteem of the citizens, who have been protected, safeguarded and rescued by the armed forces personnel in times of war, conflicts and natural calamities. Every survey has shown that the Indian military is one institution universally admired and respected by the public. The other pillars of the national framework, like the polity, the bureaucracy and the judiciary are not even within hand-shaking distance of the military in this particular competition.
Among the numerous factors that are responsible for this is that the armed forces also have an exemplary record in punishing any crime or misdemeanour by any member, irrespective of the rank and position of the offender. This is in glaring contrast with the shabby record of the civilian establishment in punishing crimes and transgressions committed by the babus, netas and the judiciary.
All this is about to change, if the general public gets to understand the ramifications of a bizarre judgement recently handed out by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) of New Delhi or if this decision is allowed to stand in the books of Indian military law. The case was the following : OA 214/2012, Lt. Gen. P.K.Rath (Retd) (Petitioner) Versus Union of India & Ors. (Respondents). The decision was that of the Principal Bench of the Tribunal, consisting of Justice Sunil Hali, Member, and Air Marshal (Retd.) J.N. Burma, Member. In summary, the Tribunal upheld the appeal of the Petitioner, Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath (Retd.) (hereafter PKR) against the earlier judgement of a General Court Martial (GCM) which had convicted him on three counts under the Army Act.
PKR was not only absolved of all the charges against him, but the Tribunal also levied a fine of Rs. One Lakh on the Army for “wrongly” prosecuting PKR and, even more interestingly, denied leave to appeal to the Union of India. This, of course, does not stop the Army from appealing to the Supreme Court, which is the forum for appeals against judgements of Armed Forces Tribunals. Such an appeal, however, may not be made because of the reasons that will become clear as we assess this judgement and its implications. One can only hope that the new Raksha Mantri, Manohar Parrikar, will take the bull by the horns and ensure that the Army and the Ministry of Defence take urgent steps to appeal in the Supreme Court against this judgement.
Before we study the judgement, it would make things simpler if the verdict is summarised. PKR had been held guilty of 3 charges by the GCM on the 21st January 2011. The sentence of the GCM was confirmed on the 9th November 2011 and the promulgation order was on the 17th November 2011. All these decisions went out of the window on the 5th September 2014, when the Tribunal announced its verdict.
Why is this commentator worried about this judgement ? The short and summary answer is that it dilutes the higher standards set by the Indian military in terms of propriety, morality and norms, as compared to the civilian establishment. Like Caesar’s wife, our faujis have always set themselves above the babus and the netas. And rightly so. The Indian soldiers, along with our indomitable freedom-fighter revolutionaries, have demonstrated time and again over many centuries and particularly since Independence that they march to the clarion call of Horatius in The Captain of the Gate : “To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods ?”
A thorough reading of the judgment makes one uncomfortable and uneasy. It becomes evident at many stages that the Union of India, the respondent No.1 (for that read the Ministry of Defence (MOD) / Army) did not deal with this case as diligently as should have been done. The MOD, it appears, was quite willing to let its cause go by default. This brings up the issue whether the Armed Forces Tribunals (AFTs) should at all be placed under the administrative jurisdiction of the MOD, since the latter is invariably a party in all the proceedings before the AFTs. There is a clear conflict of interest here; why our legislators have not seen through this grave lacuna is not clear.
Let us return to the salient issues of this case. As the arguments of the petitioner unfold and as we unravel the judgement, it becomes painfully obvious that the primary target in this entire scenario is the Respondent No. 2, General V.K. Singh (VKS), the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), undisclosed in the citation but mentioned clearly in the details. Like Banquo’s ghost, the former COAS is the spirit that hovers over every segment of this case. In the averments of PKR, he is clearly mentioned. However, since VKS is not the primary respondent, he was not given an opportunity to rebut the claims of PKR. That task should have been that of the MOD / Army, but clearly the latter were not interested. It is a classic example of a false-flag campaign to discredit a person by default.
It is now necessary to quickly review the basic features of this judgement. PKR was convicted by the General Court Martial on three charges, all of them falling under Section 63 of the Army Act, 1950. All three charges pertain to the offence of committing an act that is prejudicial to good order and military discipline or an omission to do something that results in prejudice to good order etc. The elaborate and convoluted reasoning of the AFT seems to have assiduously avoided the following basic queries:
(a) When PKR’s predecessor Lt. Gen. Deepak Raj had taken a categorical decision to oppose any private project on the Sukhna land, why did PKR over-rule this decision? What were the compelling factors that could justify such a U-turn?
(b) How can a private school be glibly declared as not being a security concern, particularly when the land where the school would come up, has a clear, untrammeled, view of the cantonment’s helipad and the Corps HQ itself?
(c) How does the AFT describe Sukhna as being far from the frontier? Did not the Tribunal itself say that the region of Sukhna is the only link to the North-Eastern states on page 55 of the verdict?
(d) Why does it absolve PKR of the offence of not keeping Eastern Command in the picture and conveniently passes the blame to his subordinates? Is this not a direct repudiation of the entire rules of military functioning?
(e) Where was the due diligence exercise on the promoters of the school, who were colourable characters with no experience in either academics or running schools? They were touting their non-existent links/ties with a well-known school in North India before they got caught out.
One can go on with the various omissions of the AFT. However, the basic problem here is that the target in this entire exercise is the former Army Chief, VKS. This is the logical outcome of the insidious “line of succession” argument that was peddled by the previous governments and its acolytes.
The babus and the legal eagles in the MOD have clearly not changed their tune or they would have strenuously countered the AFT’s mind-set.
This is a verdict that might undermine the basic framework of military law in India, setting precedents that will be used in the future to justify acts of omission and commission that simply cannot be permitted in the armed forces. The AFT members approvingly quote from an established treatise which states unequivocally that military justice must promote good order, high morality and discipline. However, they fail to do it themselves.
The final blow that Messrs Hali and Burma strike is against the Bhagvad Gita. They quote Shloka 34 in Chapter 2 of the immortal work to buttress their judgement. They say that the GCM conviction of PKR was an attack on his honour and character and that is why the AFT was restoring his reputation. “People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonour is worse than death”.
This, I am sorry to say, is as disingenuous a piece of misinterpretation that I can think of. The shloka has been used totally out of context. Any study on the venerated book will bear out my contention, but I cite only Swami Chinmayananda’s and Swami Prabhupada’s books. The words in Shloka 34 are by Krishna to Arjuna, when the latter hesitates in fighting the great war. What Krishna says is that it is Arjuna’s duty to wage a just and righteous war; if he does not do so, he will have given up his duty and abdicated from his responsibility. He will have lost his fame; it is then that people will recount his everlasting dishonour, and for a person who has been honoured earlier, dishonour is worse than death.
This entire discourse is against the backdrop of following one’s duty and moral obligation in times of national and social crises. To reduce it to the level of a mundane court case and a reversal of an earlier judgement is a mockery of the great philosophy behind the original statement.
The Bhagvad Gita will survive the assaults of the AFT members. India’s military legal framework will, certainly, be damaged if this verdict stands.

(The author is an advisor in corporate laws and finance, based in Delhi)

chetak
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 15 Nov 2014 10:39

Maroof Raza - Think Literature 2013 - Full Speech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttLOaioXIQs


or

Last edited by Rahul M on 27 Nov 2014 09:00, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: don't put the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= part in utube tags

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Nikhil T » 15 Nov 2014 12:58

Australian Army officer doing 14,000 pushups to raise 25k pounds for Indian soldier's family

LONDON: 20 years ago, Australian army's Brigadier Bill Sowry, then a Major, was training at the Staff College in India where he became friends with Major Mohit Whig. The two men and their families grew close to each other.

Some years later, Major Whig was killed while he was posted in Kashmir, and left behind a young family - two sons and his wife.

Brigadier Sowry, who had gone back to Australia, slowly lost contact with Major Whig's family after learning of his death.

Many years later, the Whigs - who now live in Chandigarh - saw a message pop up on Facebook.

Bill Sowry, by now a Brigadier in the Australian Army and the defence attache in London, looked up Major Sowry's family on Facebook and found them. "I thought I'd do a search for her son Zorawar, where he would be on it (Facebook) and of course I was lucky enough to find him," he said.

When Brigadier Sowry found that Major Whig's younger son Fateh had a condition called Spina Bifida, he wanted to help.

He set up Push Ups For Fateh or PUFF - a challenge where he's raising money for his treatment in Australia.

He says that surgical care in India is good, but he wanted the family to fly down to Australia so they could receive rehabilitative care.

"My target is 25,000 pounds. We are doing it to get Fateh some specialist care, rehab care, that he can self-administer, look after his own personal needs as he goes into adulthood. He's got some mobility issues, so he needs to be given special skills," Brigadier Sowry said.

But how would he raise money? He decided to do push-ups every single day. But how many? He decided he would do four times the number of push-ups there are kilometres covered in the Tour De France race. The race track is over 3500 kilometers so that meant the Brigadier set himself for a challenge of doing over 14,000 pushups in about three weeks.

He does this every day and maintains a chart too that is signed off by the local gym.

Brigadier Sowry didn't need an excuse to show NDTV how he does his daily exercise routine, sometimes listening to the song Jai Ho. Brigadier Sowry's own family has been very supportive, his daughter even edited a video of him doing these pushups.

Fateh's mother didn't want to be interviewed but issued a statement.

"The initiative taken by Bill speaks volumes about him and displays a quality of earnestness rarely seen today. I cannot thank him enough... The human response has been overwhelming and heart-warming," she said.

The brigadier has already raised over 10,000 pounds.


EDIT: Link to fundraiser: Nice to see many Indians donating.


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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby nandakumar » 15 Nov 2014 15:28

Chetak
The author is wrong on several counts.
Though he is commenting about the acquittal by the AFT, of Lt Gen P.K. Rath, Corps Commander of the 33 Corps of the Indian Army he has posted the news about the dismissal of Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash. The latter figures only obliquely in the AFT ruling in the Lt Gen PK Rath's case.
The land in question (a tea estate) did not belong to the army.
It belongs to the West Bengal State which has given it in perpetual lease to the company owning the tea plantation as long as it cultivated tea in that land.
Sukna is only a military station and not a cantonment. Army's capacity to intervene in development activity in lands that are not falling within a cantonment area is severely limited.
The tea estate represented to the State Government that some 70 acres of land was not suitable for tea cultivation and hence wanted Government's permission to convert it to a adventure cum tea tourism project. (many estates have either partially or fully started doing this across the country).
The army initially objected to the land being reclassified as a tourism project as it might attract foreigners and some of them may have terrorist intention. It would be difficult to monitor thousands of visitors and the military station at Sukna may become vulnerable to acts of terrorism.
The tea estate company modified the proposal to start a public school in collaboration with Mayo College, Ajmer. As a sweetener it also offered to give preferntial admission to children of army personnel posted in Sukna. Additionally, it offered to employ spouses of army personnel in teaching and administrative positions in the school.
As this proposal was going back and forth there was achange in the post of Commander of the 33 Corps when Lt Gen Rath took over.
He withdrew the objection filed with the State Government as they were no longer tenable. Moreover he nominated an officer to partcipate in a meeting convened by the Chief Secretary of the WB Govt to discuss the revised proposal.
The army's case against Rath was that he did not consult the Eastern Command and take its prior approval before he chose to withdraw the army's objection to a development proposal that the tea estate had initially proposed to the State Government. Such an act, the army contented in the court martial proceedings, amounted to a breach of army discipline and lower its morale. He was penalised with two year loss of seniority and two years service for calculation of pension benefits.
It was against this punishment Lt Gen Rath went in appeal before the AFT. The Tribunal quite rightly concluded that the army did not have any veto power over lands that did not belong to it. The objections such as there are, must stand the test of reason. Moreover the school project with the attendant benefit of preferential treatment in admssion might actually help the army, the AFT concluded. The family accommodation provided in Sukna remained largely under utilised as there was no good schooling facility in Sukna. As Corps Commander, the officer enjoyed considerable autonomy in discharging his duties. Hence the circumstances in this case did not warrant prior permission from the Eastern Command Hqrs. The General was also entitled to presume that his Head of Administration, an officer of the rank of Brigadier, would have in the normal course informed the Hqrs about the decision. The allegation that the act amounted to a breach of military discipline and order is unwarranted.
It is difficult to disagree with the rationale of the AFT in acquiting Lt Gen Rath. I would urge Forum members to read the full judgment which is available in the AFT website.
It is true that Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash was interested in the school project going through. His brother in law was behind the promoters of the school project. It is equally true that Gen Avdesh Prakash in his capacity, as the Military Secretary to the Government, had refused to correct the records in the Defence Ministry to reflect the correct date of birth of Gen VK Singh.
The bottomline is this. Lt Gen Rath became an unfortunate collateral victim in the war between VK Singh and Avdesh Prakash. The former couldnt legally go after General Avdesh Prakash unless he brought in Gen Rath into the picture.
Rath was guilty of nothing more than doing some favour to oblige a superior officer. This happens in both military and civilian spheres. But he wasnt doing anything illegal.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby negi » 15 Nov 2014 18:06

Well AFT has on most occasions refuted the findings of the court-martial proceedings and this is not just about Lt Gen Rath. The way system works is Court-martial proceedings can actually be initiated for seemingly petty things like insubordination and failure to discharge a duty, now these are kind of vague words I know of cases when an altercation between a junior and a senior went out of control and the junior was chucked out via court-martial the charges pressed were of insubordination and this was a feud in market outside the cantonment later AFT reversed all those charges . AFT only verifies if findings of court-martial proceedings are inline with civil law which they are not in most of the cases and hence they are rolled back . The issue is about the jurisdiction of the Army once a person retires he goes to AFT or a civilian court and more often than not gets a verdict in his favour that is how the system is in our country.

If a complaint is initiated by a superior officer then unless you have someone higher ranking chap as your guarding angel you are fckd for all practical purposes ; if one were to actually closely follow a court martial , right from picking up the panel to assigning of a legal counsel it is mostly a formality , 9/10 times once a case goes to a point where court-martial can be initiated it ends up with a court-martial.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Eric Leiderman » 15 Nov 2014 20:58

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/n ... epage=true

No confirmed orders for OFB gun as yet

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby nandakumar » 15 Nov 2014 21:23

negi wrote:Well AFT has on most occasions refuted the findings of the court-martial proceedings and this is not just about Lt Gen Rath. The way system works is Court-martial proceedings can actually be initiated for seemingly petty things like insubordination and failure to discharge a duty, now these are kind of vague words I know of cases when an altercation between a junior and a senior went out of control and the junior was chucked out via court-martial the charges pressed were of insubordination and this was a feud in market outside the cantonment later AFT reversed all those charges . AFT only verifies if findings of court-martial proceedings are inline with civil law which they are not in most of the cases and hence they are rolled back . The issue is about the jurisdiction of the Army once a person retires he goes to AFT or a civilian court and more often than not gets a verdict in his favour that is how the system is in our country.

If a complaint is initiated by a superior officer then unless you have someone higher ranking chap as your guarding angel you are fckd for all practical purposes ; if one were to actually closely follow a court martial , right from picking up the panel to assigning of a legal counsel it is mostly a formality , 9/10 times once a case goes to a point where court-martial can be initiated it ends up with a court-martial.

Your comments about court martial proceedings being largely a rubber stamp of those in power is true. That is why you have AFT. My point is that AFT acted in a fair manner in this case.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby PratikDas » 15 Nov 2014 22:40

Eric Leiderman wrote:http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nodhanushfor-the-army/article6603192.ece?homepage=true

No confirmed orders for OFB gun as yet

That is not how one should interpret the speculation in the article. The title of the article promises clarity, but there is none.

Despite numerous efforts, Defence Ministry and Army officials were not available for comment.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 16 Nov 2014 08:47

PratikDas wrote:
Eric Leiderman wrote:http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nodhanushfor-the-army/article6603192.ece?homepage=true

No confirmed orders for OFB gun as yet

That is not how one should interpret the speculation in the article. The title of the article promises clarity, but there is none.

Despite numerous efforts, Defence Ministry and Army officials were not available for comment.


The orders were supposed to be placed in October along with submission of the final report by DGQA. Given the dire state of artillery you might assume DGQA would hurry up, bu they are taking their own sweet time.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby member_26622 » 17 Nov 2014 22:48

^^ I would take this as good news for Dhanush. Lets use this new 'spare' capacity to give 500 numbers of these fire and scoot guns to BSF next.

It fits 'give fitting reply back immediately' strategy better than Army's tracked+towed needs. Fire 10 rounds - Scoot a KM and Fire another 10 rounds - Pakis ability to triangulate and engage in artillery duel is useless with Dhanush in BSF hands.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Austin » 27 Nov 2014 08:27

Army gets first BEL-upgraded air defence system
The Army on Tuesday received the first of the upgraded Schilka air defence weapon systems from Bharat Electronics Ltd.

Schilka is a self-propelled Soviet-origin system dating back to the 1970s. The crucial upgrade is said to be long overdue for the Army's Air Defence.

"Bulk production clearance has been obtained [after trials] and the first upgraded system was handed over today," a BEL statement said.

The Bangalore-headquartered public sector defence electronics major is modernising 48 of the 90 Schilka systems in the first phase. It got the contract in 2011.

Earlier in the day, Lt Gen V.K. Saxena, Director-General, Army Air Defence, received the first item from BEL Chairman and Managing Director S.K.Sharma after a demonstration at BEL's Bengaluru unit.

The Schilka Upgrade, according to BEL, is an all-weather, day/night, tracked system. Its four automatic 23mm-calibre guns provide low-level air defence.

BEL refurbished it at its Bangalore unit with an air-conditioning for crew comfort and included a digital search-cum-track radar that can track multiple targets. The system also gets new main and auxiliary engines, integrated fire detection and suppression system, an NBC filter (against nuclear, biological and chemical elements) and a modern communication system.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby dinesh_kimar » 12 Dec 2014 12:04

WRT 35 Most Powerful Militaries in the World:

We have 2nd Highest number of personnel - 1,325,000 or 1.3 million men.
But low Armoured Vehicle density - about 3500 tanks.

Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Ukraine have more armored vehicles than us. Pakistan and Vietnam have near parity.Their manpower is much less than us.

Across other sectors like MBRLs (120 Grad + 60 Pinaka), Artillery Pieces (3000+ incl. Mortars) and Support Vehicles , Equipment like Radars, Anti Tank Missiles,etc. the ratios are similar. (IA Numbers from memory)

So, why do we need so many men and so little equipment? If mountain and infantry ops are a high priority, then support for those arms in terms of Engineering Vehicles, Artillery pieces and radars should be correspondingly high. Since Artillery numbers and Engg. Support is low, cannot manpower reduction take place to get "more bang for the Buck" ?

As IA budget includes 65% + in form of salaries, and comparing with manpower avbl from other countries ,surely this is something to think about.

IMHO, an Artillery piece can have a maximum of 7 support personnel. But in IA, the numbers for some artillery brigades with 24 pieces go into 1000s. A Tank Squadron of 14 tanks doesnt need more than 100 support people, if Transporters and WZT type Support vehicles are avbl.

The case exists across the entire equipment spectrum.

Is the IA thinking on these lines?

I am aware that Gen Malik promised a 50,000 troop reduction,before Kargil happened.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby member_22906 » 12 Dec 2014 13:00

dinesh_kumar wrote:IMHO, an Artillery piece can have a maximum of 7 support personnel. But in IA, the numbers for some artillery brigades with 24 pieces go into 1000s.


Just curious to know which Arty Bde has 24 pieces?

TIA

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby dinesh_kimar » 12 Dec 2014 15:47

^ All Bdes have at least 24 pieces. As per Wiki "24-70 pieces".

IMHO, 3000-4000 personnel (Arty Bde) for Effective Firepower of 24-70 Guns is excessive.

WW-2 IA units with 7 people/piece and (assume) twice that number again for logistics gives 21 men/arty piece.

70 pieces would therefore require 1470 people for manning it.

See, i'm not very sure on wat the issues are with IA. I'm just comparing with all the other countries mentioned above.

Maybe the Gurus like Rohit Vats/ Vaibhav can shed some light on the thinking behind the manpower required.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 12 Dec 2014 17:02

There was a lot of talk even about a unified Army Logistics Corps meant to subsume the ASC/AOC/RVC/EME etc and introduce third party logistics and privatize supply chains. Nothing happened in the end, everyone protects their turf. Forget everything they still haven't managed to liquidate Military Farms. AFAIK, Army Aviation guys still have no permanent cadre. Thus giving an advantage to Officers from the Artillery Regt who para drop in at opportune times and take advantage of their parent arms quota's for promotions. They had even planned to get in the Specialist Rank among the OR's, nothing happened of that too. Nobody is interested in actual reforms.

IIRC VP Malik proposed not to fill up NCE's not combat strength, but then Kargil happened.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 12 Dec 2014 17:29

You can only reduce the strength till a certain point, beyond which more capital would have to be spent on automation etc. The actual Authorised strength of a formation is listed and is always as per norms. You need Combat Service Arms at a Brigade level for it function smoothly and Specialist Platoons/Batteries to have a level of desirable organic support.

Typically in an Arty Bde part of an Infantry Division, 3 Field Regiments are tasked as the Close Support Regiment @ 1 per Infantry Brigade. The Medium Regiment acts as the Depth Fire Regiment, while the Light Regiment seeks to form a mobile reserve available to the Commander at his call.

Take the example of an Artillery Battery, It is commanded by an Battery Commander who is responsible for the entire Fire Planning and receives task order from the various FOO (Forward Observation Officer) Parties who call in fire. It may also be planned fire from superior HQ. The Battery Captain leads the Logistics element of the Battery to keep it stocked during the move. Then you have the 2 Troop Commanders who actually command the Gun Troops and the crucial Gun Position Officer who controls the Survey Parties, plans the movement of Gun Troops and selection and preparation of primary and alternative fire positions.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby GopiD » 13 Dec 2014 10:58

http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekContent.do?contentId=18051715&programId=1073755753&tabId=13&BV_ID=@@@&categoryId=-222461

Indian Army's Top Covert unit TSD members in Dismay - Mr Bond, is it? Or, Mr Bean-counter?

Depressing depressing read.........

When elephants fight, the grass is crushed. The Swahili proverb has come painfully true for half a dozen officers who were part of the Indian Army's top covert operations unit.

They were recruited in the wake of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008, to stage counter-attacks on enemy targets. But, they were soon caught in the crossfire between the Army's top brass, which included three chiefs. Today, the super spies who sneaked into terrorist hideouts, blasted their depots and did such covert jobs are serving time in sinecure jobs—counting blankets and shoes, checking accounts, and overseeing repair work to residential quarters.

The story of the top-secret spy unit, officially the Technical Support Division, goes back to the days immediately after 26/11. Rattled by the audacity of the attack, the then National Security Adviser, M.K Narayanan, met heads of all spy and security agencies individually to find out if they had the capability to attack home bases of terror groups in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. None had. Narayanan asked them to raise a team, if they could.

Sources said that neither the heads of agencies nor the director-general of military operations went back to the NSA on this issue. Then Army chief General Deepak Kapoor also did not give much thought to the idea. In March 2010, Lt Gen R.K. Loomba, then director-general of Military Intelligence, approached the new chief, General V.K. Singh, saying that he could raise and train a special ops team. Singh gave his go-ahead.

Loomba then handpicked one of his finest spies, Colonel Hunny Bakshi, to raise and train the unit. Bakshi is among the few officers who joined the directorate-general of Military Intelligence directly from the Indian Military Academy. While serving in Jammu and Kashmir he risked his life to save a Brigadier who was ambushed by terrorists.

Bakshi's first pick was Lt Col Vinay B. aka Birdie, who had served in the Research and Analysis Wing, the external intelligence agency. He was awarded a gallantry award for his role in a classified operation. He was Bakshi's point man against terrorist groups in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt Col Sarvesh D. was the second man to be picked. The veteran skydiver with 3,000 jumps under his belt commanded an Army company during the Kargil war. Later, he was part of a special action group of the National Security Guard. During a counter-terrorist operation in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, Sarvesh sensed that his men were in danger and barged into a house where Afghan terrorists were holed up. He killed them all and saved his men.

No 3 was Lt Col Alfred B., a seasoned negotiator. While serving with 28 Assam Rifles, he created assets in the dreaded United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). These assets were later used to persuade the ULFA leadership to come to a truce with the Army, which ensured peace in Assam for quite a while.

Lt Col Zir was the fourth. Known for his wide network among terror groups in the northeast, Zir had brought about the cease-fire deal with the Dima Halim Daogah ultras of Assam. He had played a key role in the arrest of some DHD leaders. Zir gathered crucial intelligence on arms trafficking into India from Myanmar and helped intercept consignments.

Bakshi's best pick, perhaps, was Lt Col Anurag aka Naughty. Diabetic and overweight, he looked quite unlike an Army spy. A training injury meant that he could not work out and, thus, he gained weight. Many laughed when Bakshi picked him. But, they soon found that he could walk for miles through the hilly Jammu and Kashmir terrain with a walking stick for support. A master in cultivating assets among the terrorist groups, he was the one who helped the Army identify the real troublemakers during the stone-pelting protests in Kashmir in the summer of 2010.

The going was good for a short while. The team was following the likes of Syed Salahuddin, the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief, in occupied Kashmir. A board of officers' report confirmed this and the Army had forwarded the report to the defence ministry. The report also mentioned other operations done by the team, including ones in the northeast and in Pakistan. Especially highlighted was one in an Inter-Services Intelligence office in Faisalabad, Pakistan. “The unit was working very efficiently. It was an asset for the Army and the country,” said Loomba, about the TSD.

While the group was establishing contacts and assets in occupied Kashmir, the weather was getting rough in the Army HQ. General V.K. Singh and the defence ministry were slugging it out over his age. A.K. Antony was defence minister. It was perceived that Singh wanted to scuttle the chances of General Bikram Singh and the incumbent General Dalbir Singh Suhag succeeding him.

The ministry started questioning V.K. Singh's initiatives, and top among them was the TSD. Singh's detractors alleged that TSD was snooping on Antony and defence ministry officials. Army sources to whom this reporter talked for this story said the equipment alleged to have been used by the TSD for snooping could not zero-in on a particular mobile number. So, it would have been very difficult to track Antony's number using off-the-air interceptors. Moreover, all classified communication goes through encrypted RAX lines and not through regular service providers or devices.

As soon as he took over as Army chief, Bikram Singh ordered a probe into the activities of the TSD. He suspended its operations and virtually disbanded it. The Army HQ also wanted an inquiry into the TSD by the Central Bureau of Investigation.Antony rejected the demand fearing that this would affect India's relations with countries where TSD operatives had been active.

Once Bikram Singh pulled the plug on the TSD, it was a free for all. Some alleged that auditors had found Rs8 crore missing from TSD accounts. V.K. Singh used the money, others alleged, to bribe ministers and destabilise the Omar Abdullah-led government in Jammu and Kashmir.

The TSD was also blamed for the public interest litigation that alleged that Bikram Singh was awarded a gallantry medal for a fake encounter which happened in 2001. The general was injured in the firefight. The Army said that a Pakistani militant was killed in the encounter, while his family claimed that he was Kashmiri and a labourer. In April 2012, the Supreme Court dismissed the PIL and cleared the decks for Bikram Singh's promotion as Army chief.

As the fight intensified, allegations and counter-charges were leaked to the media, and names of TSD officers were bandied about. In the midst of this came the Tatra truck scam, where V.K. Singh alleged that Lt Gen Tejinder Singh, former chief of the defence intelligence agency, had offered him Rs14 crore for clearing the procurement of 614 Tatra heavy-duty trucks.

The covert team got more bad press when Tejinder Singh, who was then facing a CBI probe in the scam, allegedly barged into the TSD premises in Delhi cantonment area for “collecting evidence”. Reports said that the lieutenant general and a journalist were apprehended by sentries on duty.

Strangely, instead of moving against Tejinder Singh, the Army moved against Birdie, who was the officiating commander of the TSD then. A court of inquiry was set up to look into Birdie leaking a “sensitive document”. The document was a questionnaire sent by a TV channel to the Army's public relations wing, seeking information about the TSD.

That was just the first inquiry. Officers and troops of the TSD have since been subjected to several inquiries, but nothing unlawful has been established to date. As no charge held water, the officers were shunted out to nondescript jobs. The ill-treatment of these officers continues under the present chief.

V.K. Singh has since joined politics, contested polls, and is now a minister, but these men continue to suffer the indignities heaped on them.

The leader of the team, Bakshi, is with a unit in Ladakh, where his job is to count snow-jackets and shoes being stocked for the winter. Despite being close to the Chinese border, the super spy has no role in monitoring activities of Chinese troops. Shattered by the hostility shown to him by colleagues and seniors, Bakshi underwent psychiatric treatment in a Delhi hospital. His wife told the defence ministry and the prime minister that he has developed suicidal tendencies.

His son, an engineering student in a college outside Delhi, fears payback from those his father took on, while in the TSD. On his mother's instructions, he now skips the direct bus from home to college; he changes three buses every day. His mother had written to Antony, requesting security. Antony instructed the Army to provide security, but she says she has not received any.

Instead, the Army asked her to appear before a court of inquiry ordered by a formation under its western command. Its mandate was never disclosed to her, and she was never told what it was trying to find out. When she filed an RTI application, she was informed that the court of inquiry had been called off. She alleged that a senior officer had warned her that it was dangerous to dodge the military court. Coming from a military background—her father and brother were officers—she wonders how information on something as secret as the TSD was leaked.

She has now written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking justice for her husband. She wrote that he has been subjected to “extreme humiliation, indignity and fear by the hands of the top-most hierarchy of country's Army”, despite not having any cases against him.

All top guns of the TSD are in Bakshi's shoes. Birdie is with the Military Engineering Services in Shillong, where he oversees plumbers and masons who maintain the official quarters of Air Force officers. Sarvesh, the skydiver, maintains land records of a small formation in Jharkhand. Alfred used to manage a poly-clinic in Deolali in Maharashtra. After his father, a retired Major, wrote to the Army that his son was threatening to kill himself, Alfred was posted closer to home—as a National Cadet Corps officer in Rajasthan. Zir is at a poly-clinic in Karnataka, clearing medical bills of retired officers and jawans. Naughty, too, is with a medical facility in Madhya Pradesh.

More than the humiliation of these postings, the officers are tormented by the strain on their families. Two are facing divorce proceedings, with their wives alleging prolonged years of separation.

What should be worrying the country more is that the Army today has hardly any capability for covert ops. When he took over from V.K. Singh, Bikram Singh instituted a board of inquiry to look into the operations of the TSD. It was headed by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, then director-general of military operations. “The panel went beyond its actual brief of reviewing the functioning of the unit and started investigating its activities, which were clandestine in nature,” said an officer in the directorate-general of military intelligence. “Covert capability is supposed to be covert and there is always the factor of deniability. But, if our own people start documenting the deeds of intelligence officers and start feeding it to the media, then we are destroying our present and future assets.”

Covert units have been similarly shut down in the 1977-1979 Janata period, and, later, during the 1996-1998 United Front period, when, under the spell of I.K. Gujral's namesake doctrine, all covert operations were called off. “In the earlier two instances, the covert strike capabilities suffered due to politicians,” said a Military Intelligence officer. “But, in this case, they have suffered due to military people who are supposed to order these people. Not only that, they have even resorted to leaking information about the operations carried out by such units, compromising the country's standing at the international level.”

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 13 Dec 2014 16:56

GopiD wrote:http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekContent.do?contentId=18051715&programId=1073755753&tabId=13&BV_ID=@@@&categoryId=-222461

Indian Army's Top Covert unit TSD members in Dismay - Mr Bond, is it? Or, Mr Bean-counter?

Depressing depressing read.........


Downright shameful.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby rkhanna » 15 Dec 2014 10:23

^^^ Banana Republic anyone?!

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 20 Dec 2014 14:27

Secure the Siachen Glacier

As January 1984 dawned, Northern Command and 15 Corps were furiously working towards launching assault teams atop the Saltoro ridge, the prominent watershed west of the Siachen glacier.

Fortunately for 15 Corps headquartered in Srinagar then-as now-insurgency in the Kashmir Valley was still some five years away.

Most of its deployment was along the LoC stretching from Poonch right up to NJ 9842, running through Drass, Kargil, Batalik, Chorbatla and Turtuk. Unlike today, 15 Corps was also responsible for the defence of Eastern Ladakh bordering Tibet.

Raising another Corps to look after Ladakh or induction of another Division -- the 8 Mountain Division in the Kargil-Drass-Batalik area -- was not even on the horizon in 1984.

The 3 Infantry Division with its HQ in Leh had two brigades (70 located at Kairi to hold south-eastern Ladakh, 114 to look after North-eastern Ladakh) and a Sector Headquarter (26, headquartered at Partapur for areas beyond Khardung La) under its command. The 3 Infantry Division was thus effectively in-charge of the area beyond Zoji La right up to Sasoma.

Two years after Operation Meghdoot was launched, the 3 Infantry Division was stretched to its limits in defending both the Pakistan and China fronts. So one more formation -- 28 Division -- was raised in 1986 at Nimu, not very far from Leh.

In a peculiar arrangement, 28 Division was given charge of the Kargil-based 121 (Independent) Infantry brigade and the Siachen area.

This arrangement continued till 1991 when 28 Division was shifted to Kupwara in North Kashmir after full-fledged insurgency gripped the Kashmir Valley starting 1989.

That is the time the Siachen Brigade reverted to 3 Infantry Division!

It was only after the 1999 Kargil conflict that the 8 Mountain Division was inducted into Kargil and 14 Corps was raised in Leh.

3 Infantry Division moved to Karu, an hour's drive from Leh and automatically came under the 14 Corps ORBAT (Order of Battle).

Apart from General Chibber, the officers involved in planning operations on the Siachen glacier were Lieutenant General Hoon, GoC 15 Corps, Major General S Sharma, GoC 3 Inf Div and the man on the ground, Brigadier V N Channa, Commander 26 Sector.

The focus was on occupying Indira Col, Sia La and Bilafond La, the most prominent passes on the Saltoro ridge, as early as possible.

As his Staff and Commanders on the ground prepared to launch operations, General Chibber wrote a detailed letter to the Army Chief, General A S Vaidya, in January 1984 seeking his approval for the operation.

One of the highlights of the plan was to designate 79 Mountain Brigade Group in 15 Corps as the 'Himalayan Brigade' for operations in the snow bound regions.

The force, according to the Northern Command plan, was to be equipped with specialised clothing and skiing equipment.

General Chibber's note to Army HQ suggested that the type of equipment for the proposed Himalayan Brigade had to be on the lines of the ones that were being procured from abroad for troops who were to be involved in Operation Meghdoot.

'Besides organising and tailoring a specialised task force, it is essential to provide it a dedicated helicopter unit equipped with Mi-8 and Cheetah helicopters. Fire support from armed helicopters and air photos for areas of interest is also recommended.'

'Logistics infrastructure in the form of air maintenance and road communications from Sasoma to base camp, construction of helipads at the Base Camp and Sasoma and construction of fibre glass shelters is also planned,' the Northern Command note recommended.

General Chibber followed up his letter to the Army Chief with detailed discussions of the plan with General Vaidya and the DGMO, Lieutenant General Somanna at Army HQ on February 9, 1984.

Five days later, the planning for Operation Meghdoot went into top gear.

General Chibber returned to Northern Command HQ in Udhampur and called Lieutenant General Hoon to firm up plans for the operation.

General Chibber's Chief of Staff, Lieuenant General N S Cheema and MGGS (Major General, General Staff), Major General Amarjit Singh and Brigadier Channa were also present during the discussions.

These five officers pretty much comprised the top brass of Northern Command in 1984. After day-long deliberations, punctuated only by a working lunch, major operational decisions were finalised.

None of them would have anticipated that they were about to order a military action that would turn into India's longest running operation which had no precedent in military history!

Among the major decisions taken at the February 14 meeting in the Northern Command HQ was the proposed composition of the force for Operation Meghdoot.

The brass earmarked one company plus a platoon of the Ladakh Scouts and one company of 4 Kumaon with supporting elements as the basic force for the Operation.

Lieutenant Colonel Pushkar Chand, Commanding Officer of 1 Vikas, was appointed as the Task Force Commander for Operation Meghdoot. His location was to be at the Forward Logistics Base or FLB at about 16,000 feet.

The Northern Command also designated a company of 19 Kumaon under its Commanding Officer to be located at Sasoma for any contingency.

There is an interesting aside here. The Vikas battalions -- in 1984, there were two of them under 3 Infantry Division in Ladakh -- are part of the ultra-secretive organisation now known as the Special Frontier Force.

Created in 1962 under code name 22 Establishment, the Special Frontier Force remains the subject of much speculation and little concrete information.

The SFF was supposed to keep an eye on Chinese military movements along the Indo-Tibet border and gather as much intelligence as possible.

In the event of war, operating in companies, the SFF was intended to be 'forward screens' for the Indian Army.

It is trained in special operations, has the skills of paratroopers, and according to insiders is able to conduct conventional airborne assaults ahead of ground forces in areas such as Aksai Chin.

The SFF recruits both ethnic Tibetans and Gorkhas.

While Tibetans can, and do become officers, regular Indian Army officers on deputation provide the leadership. The Inspector General, head of the organisation based at Chakrata near Mussorie, is usually a Major General rank officer of the Indian Army.

Currently, there are at least 2 Vikas battalions under the Leh-based 14 Corps deployed in Ladakh.

Lieutenant Colonel Pushkar Chand was commanding one of the two Vikas battalions in 1984 when he was designated Task Force Commander for Operation Meghdoot.

So, as the designated troops got down to training and equipping themselves for what looked like a formidable task, Army HQ gave its final go ahead for Operation Meghdoot vide letter No A/35501/XM03 of 31 Mar 84. Tasks listed out in the directive were:

Tasks in General: Secure the Siachen glacier
Tasks in particular: Secure Bilafond La, Sia La, Siachen, Lolofond and Teram Sehar Glacier.
Patrol up to Indira Col.
Prevent Pakistan-sponsored infiltration in the area.
From the directive it was clear that the Army HQ wasn't looking to launch any offensive against Pakistan, but was simply planning deployment to hold on to the heights on the Saltoro ridge. There were sound reasons for this directive.

The India of 1984 was much different from the country we see today.

Mrs Indira Gandhi, after a spell out of power between 1977 and 1980 had once again become Prime Minister. Governing India has never been easy. But the 1980s were particularly bad.

Punjab was aflame with calls for a separate Khalistan; Assam was in turmoil because of the anti-foreigners agitation; insurgencies in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram were keeping a large number of Indian Army troops busy.

India could not afford another war with Pakistan.

So when Mrs Gandhi was briefed about Pakistani intentions beyond NJ 9842, her directive was simple: Secure Siachen, but prevent wider escalation with Pakistan.

Since the directive was limited, Northern Command too planned the operation on a limited scale.

The brass was clear that the key to success would be the Indian Army's ability to occupy Sia La and Bilafond La in particular before Pakistani columns could.

The planners were also fully convinced that troops for the initial deployment in these locations had to be heli-lifted and maintained by air.

Significantly, Northern Command records of the time show that the initial plan was to withdraw troops from those altitudes around August 31, 1984 unless the situation warranted otherwise.

Now we indeed know that the situation did warrant troops staying on in these passes not only for the duration of that winter, but round the year for the past three decades!

There is another school of thought, which, with the benefit of hindsight argues that India could have held on to three main passes on the Saltoro ridge instead of extending its deployment and widening the conflict.

But Pakistan's counter-offensive -- named Operation Ababeel -- and two major attacks on Indian positions at Sia La and Bilafond La between April and June 1984, forced India's hand.

Northern Command records of the time have complete details of how it became necessary to station troops on those murderous altitudes after Pakistan made it a prestige issue to try and wrest back the Saltoro.

As Northern Command and 3 Infantry Division mulled over the likely date of launching the Operation, the task force under Lieutenant Colonel Pushkar Chand was busy acclimatising.

It moved to Sasoma by March 28, 1984. The task force concentrated at base camp by April 3 and commenced ice training.

By that time, the infrastructure required for the launching of the operation was being steadily built, and high altitude huts to cater to essential accommodation at the base camp were nearing completion.

The helipad for Mi-8 helicopters was also being constructed. Dumping of aviation turbine fuel was among the top priorities since helicopters would play a major role in sustaining the deployment on the glacier.

According to records of the time, the Indian Air Force in the meantime was busy transporting supplies. It was tasked to lift 461 tonnes of material by fixed wing aircraft. Out of this, 73 tonnes was to be airlifted from Srinagar to Thoise between 19 March and 7 April.

The remaining 389 tonnes was planned to be lifted from Srinagar to the Dropping Zone during April to August 1984.

Mi-8 helicopters were entrusted to airlift 74 tonnes of goods and drop them to the base camp in the period between April and August 1984.

The lighter Cheetahs were made responsible for lifting 30 tonnes from Sasoma to FLB and 79 tonnes from base camp to assault camp.

The logistics were getting organised systematically. For an operation that had no precedent in the world, every small decision had to be weighed carefully before being implemented.

Supplies in place, everything seemed ready for Operation Meghdoot, except the specialised snow clothing for the first assault teams that were to be airdropped at Bilafond La and Sia La!


Rohit, Does 26 Sector Partapur still exist or has been subsumed with other formations?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby rohitvats » 21 Dec 2014 01:19

vaibhav.n wrote:<SNIP>Rohit, Does 26 Sector Partapur still exist or has been subsumed with other formations?


AFAIK, 102(I) Bde was raised to cover AOR which was under 26 Sector. The Bde HQ is after all in Partapur. I think the AOR covers Siachen in north to Turtuk in west and extends to area between Turtok and Chorbatla (which comes under a bde of 8 Mountain Division).

Added later: On the aspect of responsibility for DBO Sector (mentioned erroneously in article as 'beyond Khardung La), IIRC one of the Wings of Ladakh Scouts (I think the Karakorum Wing) along with some elements of regular infantry was responsible for this area. And this also was under 26 Sector/102 (I) Bde.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby shaun » 23 Dec 2014 21:37

Boots, Bullets, Rifles: All In Short Supply For Army

Reported by Sudhi Ranjan Sen, Written by Suparna Singh


The army is running low on ammunition, soldiers posted to freezing places like Siachen and Leh don't have boots or mosquito nets, and India has failed for over a decade to produce an assault rifle that meets the most basic requirements of the army.

These are some of the troubling highlights revealed by Parliament's standing committee on Defence, headed by the BJP's Major General BC Khanduri. The panel has 33 members from both houses of Parliament.

Based on information supplied by the Ministry of Defence, the committee has assessed the preparedness of the army in the winter session of Parliament which ends today.

The committee, in a report submitted to Parliament, has found that soldiers in high-altitude areas are short of nearly 2 lakh pairs of ankle leather boots; more than 13 lakh canvas boots are needed in the same areas, one lakh mosquito nets are wanted, and soldiers are waiting for 65,000 Balaclavas or masks to keep their faces warm.

The committee says the Defence Ministry has failed to furnish plausible information about how many soldiers have bullet-proof jackets; the members believe that "an important life saving device has not been purchased by the Ministry jeopardizing the lives of thousands of soldiers."

The committee has voiced its concern over the fact that while the Defence Ministry seems satisfied that equipment like night vision goggles are plentiful, the army has "an altogether different view." The report offers this indictment - "it appears that the Ministry is not taking the Army into confidence while doing its perspective planning."

The report warns clearly that the shortage of ammunition means "it would not be possible for the country to sustain a war for a longer period."

The committee states that the Defence Research and Development Organization or DRDO, tasked with developing technology for the military, has failed since 1982 to produce an acceptable INSAS rifle, the standard weapon of the army .

"The Committee finds it shocking that even years of expertise has not evolved DRDO to develop world class basic product like a rifle," its report say

what is intriguing me is the fact how those mosquitos survive sub-zero temperature !! :eek:

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby deejay » 24 Dec 2014 08:51

^^^
soldiers posted to freezing places like Siachen and Leh don't have boots or mosquito nets,

There will be locations other than Glacier.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby mody » 25 Dec 2014 13:00

India needs a Strategic defense review and change many of its war fighting doctrines and sanctioned strength of weapons, based on the new doctrines.

As per the new CAG report with regards to anti-armour mines, the concerned ordinance factory produced more then 2.71 lakh anti-tank mines. That is a colossal number. Why on earth do we need such a large no. of anti-tank mines. Also, this is just the number of mines produced by the OFB during a ten year period. The actual sanctioned strength or the total inventory, maybe even more.
There are many other weapon systems for which the current sanctioned strength numbers would make no sense. Would love to see the figure for anti-personnel mines as well.

Also things like a sanctioned strength of 50,000 man portable ATGMs. I am all for using them for bunker busting role, instead of purely for anti-armour role. But in this case, the ATGMs ought to be distributed to a much lower level then is currently being done. I would infact love to see them being used against paki post on the LoC, the next time there is any kind of flare up on the LoC.

Can anyone with more information, post details of sanctioned strength for some of the equipment's or ammunition, for which the numbers seem absurdly high.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 26 Dec 2014 19:19

Full overview of Army requirements and modernization and St Antonys fiddling away

http://164.100.47.134/lsscommittee/Defe ... ence_3.pdf

INSAS cost Rs 3.5 Crores to develop. :lol: Probably price of one deal for a few carbines..

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 28 Dec 2014 18:31

In the meanwhile, back at the ranch............


Military: Arrogance of Seniority



Military: Arrogance of Seniority.
By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Apr , 2014

Image
Starred Golf - Caddie on the Left is Displaying Three Stars while the Middle One Shows Two Stars


Search for recognition is one of the pursuits which all human beings indulge in and continuously strive for. For professionals, promotions and advancement in career are important aspects of their aspirations. In the services, rank achieved is a conspicuous and well-recognised measure of a soldier’s professional competence and an indicator of his progression. As rank fixes one’s place in the services hierarchy, senior officers have every reason to be proud of their achievement. They are justified in deriving a sense of justification from the heavy brass they carry on their shoulders. In a steep pyramid-like organisation, promotions do not come easily.
Senior commanders and their wives remain surrounded by their staff officers and cronies. They make no effort to walk up to the juniors to exchange pleasantries. At times one gets an impression that the senior brass considers it below their dignity to mix with subordinate officers.
However, it is equally important that they carry their rank with due dignity and composure. They should neither carry them to ridiculous limits nor flaunt them in an unbecoming manner. Increasing arrogance of seniority is clearly discernible in stratification of social events and indiscriminate flaunting of flags and stars, as discussed below.
Social Discrimination
There was a time when senior officers and their wives made use of social occasions to interact with junior officers and their wives to get a feel of their morale and establish informal rapport with them. On the other hand, junior officers and their wives learnt a great deal by watching the way the senior officers and their wives conducted themselves. Thus, social functions were considered to be excellent occasions to build cohesion in an informal manner. Additionally, military norms, ethics and values were passed on to the new-inductees.
Unfortunately, social functions have become highly stratified events. There is no interaction between the seniors and the juniors. Separate areas are earmarked for them. Exclusive seating for VIPs has become a standard practice. Senior commanders and their wives remain surrounded by their staff officers and cronies. They make no effort to walk up to the juniors to exchange pleasantries. At times one gets an impression that the senior brass considers it below their dignity to mix with subordinate officers.
There are three reasons for this obsession for exclusivity. One, senior officers get special treatment in terms of quality of liquor and food. Two, they get hospitality free whereas they should be paying for their drinks and food like the other officers. Finally, the current top brass is so self-seeking that it has no concern for others’ sensitivities and social niceties.
Earlier, all guests were treated at par and served the same food and drinks, irrespective of their rank. The only privilege that a senior officer enjoyed was that he was served his drink by the waiter and did not have to walk up to the bar like others. Today, not only the type of whisky but also the goblet – crystal for seniors and Borosil for others – are rank based.
Today, not only the type of whisky but also the goblet – crystal for seniors and Borosil for others – are rank based.
A few months ago, an Air Force Station had organised a social evening after an event and invited a large number of officers from the services. Prior to the serving of dinner, an announcement was made requesting all officers of one-star rank and their wives to have dinner in the hall while the others were asked to move to the tents on the side. It was such an insulting move that many officers and their wives walked out without dinner. One fails to understand how such petty mindedness has crept in the services’ culture. If a Brigadier or a General has dinner along with others, will it lower his dignity?
At a post-tournament dinner at an officers’ institute, the Army Commander, after showing his face for a few minutes, withdrew to an exclusive chamber along with his ‘Nav Ratnas’ (Major Generals) to enjoy the evening and exclusive hospitality. Others were left outside to interact with each other – a reminder of the grand old Mughal tradition of ‘Diwane Khaas’ and ‘Diwane Aam’.
Image
Golf Cap with Stars Indicating Rank of the Player

Protocol golf is another innovative measure that displays haughtiness of seniority. In case senior commanders want to play golf after a conference, the golf course is declared off limits for others. It is a disgraceful sight to see 4 to 5 commanders playing golf on an 18-hole golf course with staff officers who are detailed to accompany them. It shows arrogance of the poorest order. Do the senior commanders find it demeaning if Colonels and Majors are also playing at the same time? Arrogance of rank cannot be carried to such limits.
Flaunting of Ranks
It must never be forgotten that badges of ranks worn by the soldiers represent national symbols – the Ashoka Lion and the five-pointed Indian Star. The nation has bestowed its greatest honour on its soldiers. Every officer understandably takes pride in his rank by displaying the stars and flying the flag that he is entitled to. However, it must be done with due decorum and as per the laid down norms. Their sanctity should never be demeaned. Of late, a tendency has been discernible amongst the senior officers to flaunt their stars and flags in most unbecoming manner.

…a garden umbrella at a divisional tennis court had two stars prominently displayed on it to indicate that it was exclusively reserved for the Divisional Commander and his wife.


Although display of star plates and flags on private cars is forbidden, many officers feel insecure without their use and openly flout the orders. There are many commanders who insist that the mules that they ride in mountainous terrain must be duly embellished with stars and flags – a ridiculous sight indeed. Similarly, it was a shocking sight to see a Chief flying his flag and displaying four stars on his golf cart in New Delhi.
Recently, a photograph was circulated on the internet that showed golf caddies wearing jackets with stars prominently displayed on their backs to indicate ranks of the players they were assisting. Can there be a more ludicrous demonstration of disgraceful obsession with ranks?
Another absurd practice that has gained currency in the recent past is to present golf caps and tee-shirts to all participants with their ranks duly indicated through embossed/embroidered stars. It is a comical sight to see officers playing golf with their ranks duly advertised. It appears that senior officers are unable to swing their clubs unless adequately supported by the trappings of their ranks.
In another case, a garden umbrella at a divisional tennis court had two stars prominently displayed on it to indicate that it was exclusively reserved for the Divisional Commander and his wife. As human ingenuity has no limits, there are numerous such examples wherein display of rank has been carried to preposterous extent.
Senior commanders would do well to remember that humility is the hall mark of a good leader and a meta-virtue. A self-effacing demeanour indicates maturity and not meekness or timidity.
Many senior officers complain that they never demand such displays and that some over-enthusiastic juniors take initiative of their own accord. This explanation holds no water at all. Unless the junior officers are convinced that their initiative would fetch them a pat, they would never take the risk. Additionally, senior commanders can always order stoppage of such practices if they so desire. The fact is that they relish such treatment as it boosts their ego, gives them a ‘kick’ and makes them feel special.
Finally
Informal interaction between officers of different ranks should always be governed by the dictum that ‘a good senior does not flaunt his seniority all the time while a good junior does not forget his juniority at any time’. That should be the basis of healthy social equilibrium.
It must never be forgotten that the officers who fail to make to higher ranks are not incompetent. It is just that the steep pyramid-like structure provides limited promotional avenues. Many brilliant officers suffer due to the shortage of vacancies and retire as Colonels. Supersession impacts their psyche and they show signs of social withdrawal. Instead of reassuring them, social discrimination adds to their discomfort through shameless display of inequities. Worse, ‘social apartheid’ is widening the gulf between the top brass and the others.
Senior commanders would do well to remember that humility is the hall mark of a good leader and a meta-virtue. A self-effacing demeanour indicates maturity and not meekness or timidity. Humility is all about maintaining one’s pride about one’s worth and achievements, but without arrogance. It is an old saying that ‘those who achieve the most flaunt the least’.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby member_20317 » 28 Dec 2014 19:11

From chaturanga, chess, martial arts and hunts to Golf and Pony rides - changes in what the fighting men do for leisure.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 28 Dec 2014 19:46

Karan M wrote:Full overview of Army requirements and modernization and St Antonys fiddling away

http://164.100.47.134/lsscommittee/Defe ... ence_3.pdf

INSAS cost Rs 3.5 Crores to develop. :lol: Probably price of one deal for a few carbines..


122mm Grad-ER rockets being currently imported as mentioned in the report shall be replaced with a desi substitute. The decision to go with ER rockets was taken a few years back only.

If the standing committee's recommendations are anything to go by MCIWS is dead on arrival largely because INSAS project never really inspired confidence in the users.

Neither does the army's pursuit of Multi Caliber Rifle and 5.56 mm Carbines being conducted in isolation with each other. If we are lucky we might end up with rifle and carbine of same lineage with interchangeable parts (Colt CM-905 & M4 carbine or ARX-160 rifle and carbine, or Galil ACE rifle and carbine). In a sort of balancing move of home made vs imports, there is still some hope. Reputed guns are failing under Army's test conditions.

The Indian Army began the final round of confirmatory trials in support of its requirement for 44,618 close quarter battle (CQB) 5.56 mm carbines and 33.6 million rounds of ammunition on 9 June, defence industry officials told IHS Jane's .

The Beretta ARX-160, Colt M4, and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Galil Ace carbines will undergo a series of tests at army establishments and weapon-testing facilities until the end of July. These include weapon sights, furniture, and ammunition trials.

The competing guns will also undergo a "mud test" to gauge their ability to operate in poor conditions, an evaluation all three failed during trials in 2012 in the Rajasthan desert and high-altitude regions.


http://www.janes.com/article/39829/indian-army-kicks-off-final-carbine-trials

All carbines under trial failed under Indian conditions.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 29 Dec 2014 10:23

The less said about the INSAS family the better. Except the rifle the other two have been abject failures even after so much waiting and coaxing. You cant expect DRDO to hit a home run with every product. A low hanging fruit as small arms production should be handed to the private sector. N9w CRPF has complained to HM about the INSAS Rifles.

Link

Have the carbines failed trails, last I heard during the assault rifle trials two guns went to rave reviews. Wonder what becomes.....

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prasad » 29 Dec 2014 11:40

Karan M wrote:Full overview of Army requirements and modernization and St Antonys fiddling away

http://164.100.47.134/lsscommittee/Defe ... ence_3.pdf

INSAS cost Rs 3.5 Crores to develop. :lol: Probably price of one deal for a few carbines..

Why are we doing a global tender for new rifles? And not working on a homebuilt solution? JVs are fine but make in india dammit

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Pratyush » 29 Dec 2014 13:33

It will be made in India. The design has to be imported. That leaves me with the question.


The OFB, was not able to manage the QC for the INSAS. What makes the IA think that they will be able to manage the QC for the imported design??

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby SanjayC » 29 Dec 2014 13:56

Prasad wrote:
Karan M wrote:Full overview of Army requirements and modernization and St Antonys fiddling away

http://164.100.47.134/lsscommittee/Defe ... ence_3.pdf

INSAS cost Rs 3.5 Crores to develop. :lol: Probably price of one deal for a few carbines..

Why are we doing a global tender for new rifles? And not working on a homebuilt solution? JVs are fine but make in india dammit


The most commonsensical thing would have been for the OFB to form a JV with a private party like the Tatas or Bharat Forge (with majority share held by the private party) and transfer the blueprints of the INSAS to the new entity for manufacturing and further development of the rifle. Now, going around the world looking for a basic rifle is quite shameful, considering that India just sent a satellite to Mars. To give preference to private sector of other countries while treating the private sector of India as untouchable was a typical Nehruvian stupidity. Modi needs to involve the private sector in this before the babus / generals manage to get on the gravy train.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prasad » 29 Dec 2014 14:02

Even the standing committee thinks that since our OFB has 'fluffed' the INSAS, the current process of going to a global tender is the wise move. Why?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 29 Dec 2014 15:13

1. No carbine variant in sight even after 20 years. The DRDO actually suggested a calibre change defeating the purpose entirely.

2. The LMG variant has serious issues with barrel change which was not planned for, this when in the current Bren the LMG No2 carries a quick change spare barrel to prevent cook off during sustained fire. Besides, they now want a 7.62 NATO LMG due to lessons in Kargil plus there is unanimity in the rank and file on a 7.62 LMG. Even the RR continues with the Bren till date.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 29 Dec 2014 18:36

vaibhav.n wrote:The less said about the INSAS family the better. Except the rifle the other two have been abject failures even after so much waiting and coaxing. You cant expect DRDO to hit a home run with every product. A low hanging fruit as small arms production should be handed to the private sector. N9w CRPF has complained to HM about the INSAS Rifles.

Link

Have the carbines failed trails, last I heard during the assault rifle trials two guns went to rave reviews. Wonder what becomes.....


Little known fact, some of the private companies had been given small arms licences long time back. All these companies allowed their licenses to lapse.
Since 2001, four firms in the private sector, namely Max Aerospace and Aviation Ltd, Bharat Forge Ltd, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, and Punj Lloyd Ltd were issued licences to manufacture arms and ammunition. Most of these licences have since lapsed as of date”, the report cited above said.

http://rpdefense.over-blog.com/article-india-likely-to-acquire-arms-ammunition-worth-1-bn-72686267.html

Punj Lloyd for example, still has small arms licences, license to manufacture rockets, anti aircraft guns etc. In small arms category, Punj Lloyd is offering a license build only in anti material rifles.

Regarding carbines, ARX-160 and Galil are also part of multi cal rifle and a sister design of M4, Colt's modular rifle is also there. Unfortunately Bren Cz 805 is not a part of carbine tender as the tender predates the gun.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 29 Dec 2014 19:11

Thakur,

Wow....Had no idea these chaps had manufacturing licenses. One would have expected the likes of Bharat Forge to jump at the Opportunity besides they are co located, IIRC with OFB Kirkee(Loads of experienced workforce to poach).

Then i read this in the link you posted....
The industry official cited above also said that the carbines are likely to be manufactured under licence by the new ordnance unit at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.


Sigh!! :roll:

Meanwhile somewhere in Amethi.....Rahul Baba ki jai ho!!

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 29 Dec 2014 22:21

Image

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby VinodTK » 30 Dec 2014 04:37

Siachen: Army to start rapid induction of troops

In a bid to counter a two-pronged threat from Pakistan and China at the world’s highest battlefield, the Army would start inducting soldiers at Siachen glacier with just four days for acclimatisation after winter.

The reduction in acclimatisation period from existing 11 days to just four days is an outcome of the joint research carried out by the Army and the DRDO since 2009. “We will be starting this (rapid induction) on the Manali axis road once it opens up (post winter). At present the total acclimatisation from Chandigarh to 14,000 feet is 11 days.

We will be reducing this to four days…We have already done the pilot study and we will be further assessing its efficacy… And if you reduce this, it is the need of the Army… it is the need of the hour that we are able to induct troops faster in case of war or peace,” Lt Gen (Dr) B K Chopra, DGAFMS, told The Indian Express.

Presently, the acclimatisation takes place in two stages of six and four days at Leh and at higher altitudes, respectively, before inducting at the glacier where heights range between 22,000- 2,4000 feet. The study on rapid acclimatisation was carried out by DRDO’s Delhi- based Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in collaboration with Army’s High Altitude Medical Research Centre and Leh-based 153 General Hospital has been under trials for over a year.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby d_berwal » 15 Jan 2015 19:33

the breaking news missed by all in the shadow of MSM attack on GOI.

courtesy Army Day 2015 Demo, IA high Mobility 4x4 Tatra for infantry for rapid induction into battle.

The best available High Mobility 4x4 troop carrier in the world market.

added later:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrQx00ybgqM around 5:45 or so
Last edited by d_berwal on 15 Jan 2015 21:00, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Surya » 15 Jan 2015 20:47

d_berwal - link please

thanks for the info


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