The 70th Army Day was celebrated this year by the Indian Army at Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantt on January 15, 2018.
The day began with the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff paying their obeisance to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Joyti, India Gate.
As the Parade formed up at the Parade Ground, the Parade 2nd-in-Command and the Parade Commander took salute. Thereafter, the GOC Delhi Area, GOC-in-C Western Command, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff arrived at the venue, followed by the COAS, Gen Bipin Rawat. After the COAS took salute and inspected the Parade, presentation of Gallantry Awards and Unit Citations took place.
This year, 15 Gallantry Awards (Sena Medals) including 5 Posthumous and 12 Unit Citations have been given.
After the presentation of Awards, the COAS addressed the gathering, in which besides felicitating the soldiers and their families, he gave a stern message to the forces inimical to the country.
The March Past began with the Parade Commander, Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra Awardees, Distinguished Sportsmen, Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, followed by Marching Contingents of Punjab, Maratha Li, Dogra, Ladakh Scouts, Artillery and TA (Grenadiers).
The Mechanised Contingent was led by Bhishma Main Battle Tank T-90, followed by Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II, Brahmos Missiles, Weapon Locating Radar Swathi, Bridge Layer Tank T-72, Mobile Base Transceiver Station and Akash Weapon System.
The Bands included were Mass Military Bands and Mass Pipes and Drums. They were followed by the dare-devil Motorcycle Display by the Tornadoes of ASC Centre & College.
The climax came with the breath-taking Combat Demonstration in which a War Scene was created and for a few minutes, the parade ground turned into a battle ground with the roaring of Battle Tanks and Combat Helicopters dropping Commandos amid the smoke and dust raised by the firing of mortar bombs and artillery shells. The Commandos after crawling to their targets, destroyed the enemy camps, killing the enemy soldiers with their bayonets in a one-to-one fight.
The Parade ended with the colourful para-troopers and the tri-colour balloons floating over the sky across the Parade Ground amidst the tune of "Saare jahan se acchha...!"
pix: Fulchand Kitadikar and GD Mehra