Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre visited Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Bhanur Unit on September 23, 2017. On arrival, he was given a warm welcome by CMD, BDL, Shri V. Udaya Bhaskar. RRM met senior officials of the organization. CMD apprised him about the production activities being carried out at BDL and the future expansion plans. He visited various production facilities at Bhanur Unit. On this occasion, state-of-the-art SAM Storage Cubicles facility was inaugurated by the RRM.
The final Development Flight Trials of Astra - Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha during September 11-14, 2017. A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully.
The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets. All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead and the targets were neutralized.
This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), together with Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system. Dr S. Venugopal, Programme Director led the launch operations and flight trials along with the teams from multiple organisations.
The Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF, DPSU and industries for the successful trials of ASRTA Missile. Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) Dr S. Christopher congratulated the Team Astra (DRDO, IAF, DPSU & Industries) for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system. Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, said the technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of more variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff and Mrs Kamalpreet Dhanoa President Air Forces Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) visited Air Force Station Bareilly on September 11, 2017.
On arrival, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Mrs Kamalpreet Dhanoa were received by Air Commodore IS Walia, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Bareilly and Mrs Ravdeep Walia, President AFWWA (Local).
The Chief of the Air Staff was accorded with a Guard of Honour on arrival. He inspected various units and sections of Air Force Station Bareilly. The Chief of the Air Staff also reviewed a ceremonial parade commanded by the Air Officer Commanding. The Air Chief Marshal addressed all the personnel of Air Force Station Bareilly and appreciated the base as an epitome of professionalism for carrying out challenging task. He urged the air warriors to be ready for more challenging missions in coming days. He emphasized on the growing security related threat from the terrorism and also elucidated on the importance of cyber security aspect.
Mrs Kamalpreet Dhanoa, President Air Force Wives Welfare Association visited Ankur Play School, Umeed Vidya Kiran School, Air Force School and other AFWWA ventures. She also interacted with the wives of Air Force personnel during AFWWA meeting.
Against the backdrop of a light drizzle, in a solemn ceremony, organised on August 31, 2017 at the New RHINO War Memorial (RHINO Prerna Sthal), Lieutenant General DS AHUJA, General Officer Commanding 101 AREA laid the wreath in the honour of the gallant heroes of the erstwhile 101 Communication Zone (now Headquarter 101 Area) who fell asleep on the bed of honour during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Headquarter 101 Communication Zone holds the unique honour of being the first formation that entered Dacca on December 16, 1971 during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The solemn ceremony was conducted with military precision and in a manner befitting the occasion. It was a poignant moment as the sacrifices of these brave men were remembered.
The existing War Memorial was earlier located at a busy junction of five roads. The change in the location was necessitated to prevent the inconveniences being caused to the local public, as during any wreath laying ceremony, traffic on all five roads was required to be halted. With the re-location of the War Memorial, this inconvenience to the populace in Shillong has been effectively addressed by the Army.
The beautiful and awe inspiring War Memorial is now located at a serene venue giving a befitting identity to this sacred monument of great reverence and historical significance.
An 8 ft. bronze statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was unveiled at the Naval establishment in Kolkata, INS Netaji Subhas, by Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in the presence of Netaji's niece-in-law and Chairperson of the Netaji Reseach Bureau, former Member of Parliament Prof. Krishna Bose. Other dignitaries present at the occasion included the Ex-Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marrshal Arup Raha, Chief Of Staff, Eastern Command Lt Gen Dushyant Singh, General Officer Commanding, Bengal Area Lt Gen GS Sangha, and Air Officer Commanding, Advance HQ, Eastern Air Command Air Vice Marshal Vikram Singh, Consul General of Japan in Kolkata Mr Masayuki Taga and many retired personnel of the Navy.
Welcoming the guests the Naval Officer in Charge (West Bengal) and Commanding Officer of INS Netaji Subhas, Commodore Suprobho K De said that it was the realisation of a long cherished dream to have an inspiring presence of the first soldier in India's last war of independence at the Naval base in Kolkata that happens to be named after him.
Addressing the gathering, V Adm HCS Bisht recalled the heroism of the great patriot who continues to inspire millions of countrymen to this day. He also attributed the national greeting of JAI HIND as being a legacy of Netaji Subhas.
Prof. Krishna Bose said that Netaji, an apostle of equality and freedom, was perhaps the most adored national hero and undoubtedly the most adventurous legend of India's epic freedom struggle.
Kamal Mondal, the young sculptor who created Netaji's statue was also felicitated at the event.
In a display of indomitable spirit and enthusiasm to take on challenges well beyond the normal, an Army team of 12 members led by Maj SK Singh undertook an Adventure Patrol through the picturesque landscape of Machail and Umasi La region of Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Adventure Patrol team of the Rashtriya Rifles battalion at Dul, under the aegis of Kishtwar Sector embarked on this rigorous adventure with an intent to pitch exceptionally high physical standard and endurance undertook this adventure displaying undeterred courage & passion withering bone chilling cold and lofty mountains.
The twelve member team was flagged off from Machail on August 21, 2017 by Maj Gen C P Sangra, GOC CI Force (Delta), which traversed across multiple ridgelines along the adventurous route of Machail-Sumcham-Khachay-Phangso-Ruwa-Umasi La, the historical route taken by Gen Zorawar Singh in his expansionary military expeditions to Ladakh through Zanskar in 1841. The Legendary Warrior referred to by Historians as the "Conqueror of Ladakh" led four expeditions in his Conquest of Ladakh which impressed military leaders and motivated several military expeditions since then.
The Adventure Patrol took ten days to cover the route interspersed with mountain springs, deodar forests, deep crevasses, steep cliffs and treacherous trails, all in an endeavour to display the spirit of the Army, the utmost determination of each soldier and the continuous quest to undertake formidable challenges. The Adventure Patrol was flagged-in at Kishtwar on September 1, 2017.
Army organised an "Athletics Competition" at Chogan ground of Kishtwar from August 28-30, 2017. The event provided a platform to the local youth for showcasing their skills in the field of sports and athletics and at the same time to develop an approach and inclination towards sports.
The event encompassed various fixtures clubbed under four categories namely under 14 for boys and girls and open category for boys and girls. Event like 100mtr, 200mtr and Long Jump, Javelin, Shotput, Discus throw, 4 x 100m relay and Archery were conducted. An Inter school 'Tug of War' for girls and boys was also organised. About 1600 boys and 400 girls participated on the first day of competition.
A mid career interaction between officers of Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service officers with the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) was conducted by Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy at Maritime Warfare Centre (Kochi), naval base from September 11-13, 2017. Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command (SNC) inaugurated the event.
'Growing maritime challenges in the 21st century' was the central theme for the interaction. A large number of Naval and civilian officers which included the District Collector of Ernakulam, Shri Mohammad Y Safirulla, and Shri P Vijayan, IG interacted with the participants who had come from different parts of the country. The interaction included a visit to naval ship INS Sharda and various operational and training establishments at Kochi and discussions on a variety of topics such as Historical perspective of national maritime security & the military value system, Challenges to effective policing in India, difficulties associated with functioning of civil services, Disaster management in India: Civil Military co-ordination, Coastal Security: Challenges for Coastal State Civil Administration, Current maritime issues, Naval safety organisation, Naval operations, Inter services co-operation and Submarine warfare etc.
Such interactions are likely to benefit both the armed forces and the civil service officers by mutually learning from each other's strength and also by imbibing the best practices from each other's work culture, ethos and customs. The interaction was co-ordinated by the Maritime Warfare Centre, Kochi headed by Commodore N Anil Jose Joseph.
To encourage Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Rank of Central Command and to exploit their creative potential, an Idea and Innovation competition was held at Command Technology Centre, Station Workshop, Lucknow Cantonment on August 28-29, 2017.
A total of 36 innovations generated by the personnel of Central Command were displayed during the event. Lt Gen JK Sharma, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Central Command was the Chief Guest for the event who was briefed first hand by the innovators along with the Service officers of Lucknow Station. In addition, children from the Schools in the station who were invited for the event demonstrated keen interest in the innovations and gained first hand experience in application of science theories being taught in the school curriculum.
This event assisted in identification of the innovative pool of talent in the field Army with the objective of promoting an innovative spirit and creativity in the environment. It also facilitated overcoming challenges related to critical equipment and weapon systems and to motivated the participants to evolve effort saving techniques, create new designs to fill existing voids and optimize software and applications.
- Gp Capt Basantkumar B Pande
As part of the Indian Army's ongoing outreach programme to foster the spirit of National Integration across the entire swathe of the country, a tour comprising of 20 school students from Biamah in Leh district of J&K was organised from August 25, to September 5, 2017. The participants interacted with Lt General Sarath Chand, Vice Chief of Army Staff. He shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation Building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.
The tour was flagged off from Leh on August 25, 2017 and during the course of their tour the participants visited various cultural and historical places in Chandigarh and Delhi. These National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of J&K and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.
Proving its metal yet again the Hovering Hawks of 132 FAC Flt were swift to evacuate two civilian casualties who were severely injured in a bus accident in J&K in August 2017. The accident took place near Mohr sector wherein the bus fell into a Nallah. It was 1100 hrs when the Commanding Officer of 132 FAC Flt received a message for immediate casualty evacuation from Mohr helipad. There were a total of four casualties who were to be evacuated.
An aircraft was launched immediately from Udhampur for Mohr helipad to evacuate two casualties initially and drop them to Jammu airport for further treatment. The aircrew reacted swiftly to take off from base and reached the site in the earliest way possible. They evacuated one male casualty with severe head injury and bleeding and other female casualty with multiple injuries on face and arm. They were immediately evacuated for Jammu airport for the treatment. After dropping the casualties at Jammu airport, the aircrew again got airborne to save the other casualties at Mohr helipad. The weather enroute Mohr helipad was getting bad however, an attempt was made to negotiate the cloud and reach at the site. The aircrew tried their best to evacuate the other two casualties but could not reach the site due to bad weather. Later on the casualties were evacuated by road.
The unit has a history of achieving laurels for responding quickly and being pro active especially in missions involving casualty evacuations. The same was proved again by recovering both the civilians from remote helipad on a short notice. This act will surely help the casualties to recover early with the better treatment. Both the pilots were appreciated for their professional approach towards the mission and were urged to continue the same in the future.
The Ladakh based 'Fire & Fury Corps celebrated its 18th Raising Day on September 1, 2017 at Leh, during which a Solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony to honour 'Martyrs of Ladakh' was conducted. General Officer Commanding, Fire & Fury Corps Lt Gen SK Upadhya, laid the wreath and honoured the Martyrs. Later, speaking to soldiers of the elite Fire & Fury Corps, the General Officer Commanding congratulated and complimented all present for their service to the Nation in such remote and inhospitable terrain and weather conditions.
It was on September 1, 1999, in the aftermath of the Kargil War that this elite Corps was raised and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Young runners of Ladakh Scouts re-established their supremacy in the gruelling 72 Km Khardung La Challenge and 42 Km Ladakh Marathon held at Leh under the aegis of Rimo Expeditions Leh on September 9-10, 2017 respectively. Proving their mettle in this unique high alititude run, the Ladakh Scouts secured top seven positions in the Khardung La Challenge won by Rifleman Shabir Hussain clocking (6 hours, 23 minutes & 50 seconds) followed by Rifleman Rigzin Nurboo (6 hours, 25 minutes & 29 seconds) and Rifleman Tsering Stobgias (6 hours, 34 minutes & 14 seconds) who finished runners-up and third respectively in a record-breaking performance. All three runners erased the previous record which stood at 6 hours, 34 minutes and 50 seconds. The Ladakh Scouts Nunnus dominated the 42 km Ladakh Marathon as well securing first, third and fourth positions with the best timing of 3 hours 5 minutes and 14 seconds clocked by Rifleman Shabir Hussain in a valiant performance. The event was flagged-off by Lt Gen SK Upadhya, SM, VSM, GOC, Fire & Fury Corps in which over 6000 runners including a large number of foreigners participated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Commander Bindhu Prakash won the Southern Naval Command (SNC) Golf Championship that concluded at "The Voyage - Environmental Park and Training Area" golf course at Indian Naval Academy today Saturday September 9, 2017. The three day championship event was held from September 7–9, 2017 with 36 holes of competition. As many as 15 enthusiast golfers participated in the championship event. This is the first time that the championship event is held at INA.
Vice Admiral SV Bhokare, Commandant, INA awarded the prestigious SNC Golf Championship trophy and congratulated the winning golfers and appreciated the skills, proficiency and sportsman spirit displayed by all throughout the event. Commander Bindhu Prakash with a gross score of six stroke enabled him to stamp his name on this prestigious championship trophy. Commodore Simon Mathai and Commander K Diwakar Rao secured the second and third positions in the finals of SNC Golf Championship.
The event was attended by a large number of serving officers, dignitaries, family members and participating golfers.