Healers Of The East Get Coveted Raksha Mantri Trophy
Maj Gen TS Ahluwalia, Comdt CH(EC), Recipient of Best Hospital and Surg R Adm AA Pawar, CO INHS, Asvini, recipient of second Best Hospital with the Defence Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar. Also seen in the picture are Mr G Mohan Kumar, Defence Secretary, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Dalbir Singh , Lt Gen BK Chopra, DGAFMS & Sr Col Comdt,  Air Marshal Rajan Chaudhry,  DGMS(Air),  Lt Gen MK Mukherjee, DG (Org&Pers), Lt Gen BNBM Prasad, DGHS (AF)
February 18, 2016 was a day for jubilation for the entire Eastern Command as their flag ship hospital-Command Hospital Kolkata won the prestigious Raksha Mantri trophy for the third time after gap of 14 years. It was a proud moment for the Commandant Maj Gen TS Ahluwalia as he received a cheque of 10 lakhs along with the coveted trophy from Defence Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar in a function that was attended by three service chiefs, DGAFMS, DGMS's and DGHS. History of this hospital can be traced back to 1870, when it was established in the majestic two storey structure, currently HQ Bengal Area, with 60 beds for providing health care to earst while East India Company. Present day Command Hospital located at famous Alipore adjacent to botanical garden came in to existence in 1972, thanks to concerted efforts of then Army Commander Lt Gen SHFJ Manekshaw, MC who laid the foundation stone in 1970 and ensured its completion in record time of 2 years to inaugurate it in his capacity as Army Chief in 1972, soon after the famous 1971 war against Pakistan leading to the creation of Bangladesh. This hospital is also unique in that it was constructed entirely by Military Engineers to make them proud for show casing this hospital in terms of design and quality. Much water has flowed under Hooghly since then and today Command Hospital (EC), has expanded by leaps and bounds to emerge as a state of the art super speciality tertiary care hospital that is serving as a jugular vein for the entire north east, besides providing round the clock medical services to the needs of vast clientele drawn from entire eastern India. This hospital is credited for managing all types of cases be it combat injuries or one due to natural disasters besides all that affects modern day life with high degree of professionalism despite extreme work pressure.
Raksha Mantri trophy was instituted in 1989 to bring in excellence in patient care. Each year the best hospital among various Command Hospitals of Indian Armed Forces is selected by a high level Committee under the aegis of Ministry of Defence. Selection committee headed by DGHS(AF) took great efforts to go in to finer details and found to their satisfaction that all the seven hospitals they inspected were almost at par with each other with hardly any difference separating them when it comes to quality of medical care and professional excellence. The second prize was bagged by INHS Asvini Mumbai, the flagship hospital of Indian Navy. These hospitals of Armed Forces are  real gems providing  the best patient care in both peace and war.
AFMS under the dynamic leadership of present DGAFMS Lt Gen BK Chopra has been forefront in providing the state of the art medical care, carry out medical research, impart best medical education and ensure best preventive measures to keep soldiers fighting fit. AFMS, the real pride of the country, is a close knit family of medical warriors possessing excellent qualities of both that of a soldier worthy of the battle fatigue and a medical professional donning the white coat. These men in uniform with exceptional abilities work beyond call of the duty in the service of fellow soldiers fighting the enemy and guarding the country. They work relentlessly be it treacherous or hostile environment with their  raw courage, unflinching determination and enviable competence while ensuring that the precious life of the soldier under their care is saved at any cost even risking their own life. Indeed they are the real friend, philosopher, guide and saviour of the soldier.
inputs: Lt Gen BNBM Prasad