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Friday, 3 June 2011

From Today's Papers - 03 Jun 2011

On Leh tourists’ complaint, cops book Armymen for rioting
Srinagar, June 2 The Jammu & Kashmir Police has registered a case against unidentified Army personnel for allegedly entering three hotels in the dead of the night in Leh and harassing tourists, including foreigners, earlier this week.  The incident took place on the intervening night of May 30 and 31 when Army personnel from 3 Division, based at Kharu in Leh area of Ladakh, barged into Hotel Masarovar, Holiday Inn and Keddar Guest House, official sources said today.  They said the soldiers, carrying weapons and wearing uniforms without name badges, questioned the tourists without taking the police into confidence as required under the law. One of the tourists had taken pictures of the Army personnel and complained to the police about harassment by the troops, sources added.  They said as the police tried to intervene in the matter, the soldiers allegedly manhandled them. The Army personnel were heard repeatedly shouting that someone in the hotels was using a satellite phone.  Several foreign tourists staying in these hotels felt harassed in the process and threatened to lodge a complaint with the government through their embassies, sources said. A defence spokesman denied harassment to the tourists.  A case under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and 342 of the Ranbir Penal Code (wrongful confinement) was registered against the Army personnel, sources said.  Sources said the incident was retaliatory action by a senior Army officer, who, along with his son, was asked to go through routine frisking at the Leh Airport a few days ago. They said the officer had entered into an altercation with the police at the airport. “Specific intelligence inputs over the last few days indicated that there were terrorist designs to disrupt tourism in Leh by targeting hotels and the Leh Airport. Since then, preventive action, including heightened security measures, are in place,” defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said. — PTI  Search Trouble  n On the night of May 30/31, Army personnel from 3 Division barged into Leh’s Hotel Mansarovar, Holiday Inn and Keddar Guest House  n Several foreign tourists staying in these hotels felt harassed and threatened to lodge a complaint through their embassies  n On receiving their complaints, the J&K police registered a case against unidentified Army personnel  n The Army, on its part, said the search operation followed an intelligence input about terrorists’ plan to disrupt tourism in state. However, the police claimed there was no such input
Taliban fighters storm border checkpost in Pak; 70 killed
Islamabad, June 2 Over 70 persons, including 28 security personnel, were killed when hundreds of heavily armed Taliban fighters crossed into northwest Pakistan and besieged a remote checkpost, in one of the deadliest attacks in months.  About 300 heavily armed militants attacked the check post at Shalotal in upper Dir district of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province early yesterday.  Intermittent gun battles between the militants and troops continued till today.  Officials said today that 27 security personnel had died so far and efforts were underway to evacuate the bodies. They claimed 45 militants were killed though this could not be independently confirmed.  Six civilians, including two women and as many children, were also reportedly killed during the clashes.  The check post attacked by militants is located close to the border with the Kunar province of Afghanistan.  Officials said the militants had destroyed two schools and several houses with rockets. The local administration rushed additional policemen and Frontier Constabulary Troops to the area to flush out the militants.  Helicopter gunships pounded locations where the militants were holed up. The administration imposed curfew in the area and sealed it off.  The army had conducted a major operation against the Taliban in Dir and the nearby areas two years ago.  At least 13 Pakistani security personnel were killed in a similar cross-border raid by Taliban in the Lower Dir region two months ago.  In a late night development, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed to the Afghan ambassador Pakistan’s “strong concern on the cross-border attack launched from the territory of Afghanistan. — PTI
IAF chief: Siachen talks can’t progress until control line fixed
Ahmedabad, June 2 Air Chief Marshal PV Naik today said talks between India and Pakistan over Siachen cannot progress until the “Actual Ground Possession Land” was demarcated.  The chief of Air staff, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, told reporters here that the presence of the Chinese Army in Pak-Occupied-Kashmir was a “natural progression” of ties between China and Pakistan.  When asked about the reason for the failure of talks on Siachen and Sir Creek, Naik said: “The main issue over Siachen is that there is no clear marking of what we call the AGPL (Actual Ground Possession Land). We are at present at an advantageous position, by occupying certain heights where attacking is very difficult.” “If both sides have to vacate this position, that line (AGPL) needs to be marked and, I would say, internationally approved, only then we will feel safe. Because once again getting that position will be very difficult. So until this problem is sorted out, the talks between the two countries will not progress forward,” said Naik. He said talks with Pakistan on Sir Creek had also been inconclusive.  “There is a difference of perceptions on the boundary line. Is it in the centre of Sir Creek or on one side of Sir Creek. Talks will have to carry on...ultimately we have to reach a position,” he said.  On the visibility of Chinese Army in PoK, Naik said, “I think it is a natural progression of the alliance between China and Pakistan. As far as presence of Chinese army is concerned, at present they are in the form of working parties. They are actually building bridges and roads. There are no armed manoeuvres.”  He said the IAF is capable of dealing with security threats arising out of the recent developments in Pakistan.  He said the entire region seemed to be caught up in a maze of security challenges following the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the subsequent terror attack on Mehran Naval airbase. These incidents were likely to have major implications for India, said Naik.  “Mehran attack is not something that will change our plans. Our plans have already been well-placed since the last five years,” he said, when asked about IAF's preparedness to to deal with similar situations.  “The IAF is emerging as a strategic aerospace force, and is fully capable of facing any challenge that it is posed with. Our preparedness levels are at the desired level to thwart any nefarious designs and threats,” he said.  Naik said the security of IAF air bases was very vital In view of this IAF had embarked on a major modernisation plan, he added. — PTI
CCS to discuss US plane deal today
New Delhi, June 2 Less than a month after India rejected warplanes produced by US companies - Boeing and Lockheed Martin - for the lucrative fighter jet deal for the IAF, it is likely to hand over a $ 4.1 billion (Rs 18,000 crore) deal to the US for the supply of 10 heavy lift transport planes, the C-17 Globemaster.  Sources confirmed that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was slated to meet tomorrow and a decision was expected to come through. — TNS
Indian army pressure
FOR most of its existence, Pakistan has struggled with establishing strong civilian governments. Repeated interruptions in the democratic process have made the military notorious for maintaining an outsized role in policymaking, especially when it comes to foreign relations, security and defence. India, on the other hand, has ostensibly made bigger strides in this regard and is routinely praised for its democracy. Conventional wisdom has held that the country`s civilian governments control its military, not the other way around. But confidential US diplomatic cables obtained through WikiLeaks suggest that the extent of this independence has been overstated. As this paper reported yesterday, the Indian army has been a key impediment to resolving the deadlock with Pakistan over Siachen. American officials have reported in these documents over the years that while the Indian prime minister has wanted to show flexibility in negotiations, pressure from the army has not allowed him to do so. While the resistance of opposition politicians and hardliners within the Congress party is also reported, that is part and parcel of a functioning democracy. What was less expected was the extent to which army buy-in would be needed for India to move forward on Siachen.  But this glacier is an uninhabited area with no economic significance. The deadlock has only resulted in increased defence expenditure and climate-related deaths of both Indian and Pakistani troops. If the Siachen issue has resulted in this level of military interference, what hope can there be for Kashmir? Extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions in India-administered Kashmir are one manifestation of the hold that the Indian security forces have on the area. The use of excessive force during protests last summer has been well-documented. And if the confidential material on Siachen is any indication, the civilian government may well be unable to move forward on Kashmir in the face of pressure from the Indian defence establishment.  The implications are clear: despite justified criticism of the role of Pakistan`s military in setting foreign policy, the reality is that the civilian governments on both sides have military pressure to stand up to. Both administrations also have a real desire for dispute resolution that is clearly being held back by this pressure. In these shared realities lies an opportunity: they should become a basis for establishing common ground between the two governments rather than roadblocks on the path to peace. They also indicate that both countries have work to do domestically to boost their democracies further, so that their relationship can be strengthened to more accurately reflect the true aspirations of their people.
Israeli medium-power radar to be commissioned in Gujarat this week
NEW DELHI: In keeping with the overall plan to bolster India's air defence surveillance network, IAF will commission a spanking new Israeli medium-power radar (MPR) at Naliya in Gujarat this week.  "This state-of-the-art radar, to be named Arudhra, is being inducted towards strengthening the air defence in the Saurashtra-Kutch region and constitutes an important component in IAF's plan to achieve network-centric operations,'' said an officer.  IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik will be inducting the radar, which has a range of over 300 km, at the Naliya airbase on Friday after the commanders' conference of the South-Western Air Command.  IAF has already inked contracts for 19 LLTRs (low-level transportable radars), four MPRs and 30 indigenous medium-range Rohini radars, apart from also planning a major induction of long-range surveillance radars (LRSRs) and high-power radars (HPRs) to bolster air defence coverage in "hilly terrain'' in the hinterland as well as along the borders with China and Pakistan.  India is also moving towards procuring nine more Aerostat radars to add to the two EL/M-2083 Israeli Aerostats inducted earlier as well as two additional AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) to supplement the first three Israeli Phalcon AWACS bought under a $1.1-billion deal.  The overall aim of all this is to ensure that the Indian airspace, which still has several gaping holes, especially over central and peninsular India, becomes impregnable against hostile aircraft, drones and helicopters.  With advanced "electronic counter-counter measures'', the new radars being inducted will be integrated into the IACCS (integrated air command and control system), the fully-automated network being established to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars.  IAF, in fact, has plans to establish 10 IACCS nodes to cover virtually the entire country, with quick transfer of data from different radars as well as ground stations of AWACS to one central place.
India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) - Recent Achievements at a Glance
By The Department of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence, Govt. Of India  New Delhi, June 2, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) DRDO has made many significant achievements during the recent past, including the last year. Many important systems were inducted/accepted by the services. The production value of systems based on technologies developed by DRDO (inducted/accepted/orders placed) during the past one decade is well over Rs.1,10,000/- crores.  Agni, the 3500 km range ballistic missile was successfully launched with user’s participation.  Training flights were held by the users for various missiles that are already inducted.  These included two flight tests each of Agni – I, Agni – II and Dhanush (from naval ships) and five flights of Prithvi II (P– II).  Orders worth over Rs. 25000 crores for surface-to-air missile- AKASH have been placed by the users.  These include 8 squadron for IAF and 2 regiments for the Army.  Successful flight tests of Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor for 2000 km class target were carried out.  Each flight led to a direct target hit and disintegration of the target.  Capabilities of NAG, the third generation anti-tank missile, which is a vehicle mounted system was demonstrated in a series of user trials.  Advanced versions of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the only one of its kind in the world, were developed and flight-tested.  Thus, BrahMos block II with target discrimination precision strike capabilities was test-fired.  Similarly, BrahMos block III with capability for steep diving from high altitudes and high maneuvers at multiple points during supersonic flight.  Development of advanced missile systems is a continuous effort and requires systematic development of more and more advanced technologies.  RLG based Inertial Navigation System was developed, qualified and tested.  Active Radar Seeker for advanced missions was developed.  A Fibre Optics Gyro was successfully developed and tested on board.  In the area of Aeronautics, Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) concluded its extensive flight tests including weapon trials, dropping of bombs, jettisoning drop tanks and night flights; leading to its Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) on 10th January, 2011.  Over 1640 flights covering a period of over 969 hours have been completed by Tejas Mark 01.  The first prototype of LCA Navy was rolled out and its induction tests were concluded.  In tune with changing war of scenario, major thrust has been given to develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Successful flight trials of RUSTAM-1, a UAV with endurance of 14 hours and altitude ceiling of 8,000 meters demonstrated the capabilities for automated / remotely piloted landing/ take-off and associated technologies.  NISHANT, another UAV developed by DRDO was ready for induction by the Army. A medium sized aerostat based platform was developed for surveillance applications.  A novel method was developed and flight-tested for an in-flight structural monitoring of the manned as well as unmanned aircraft structures.  The scheme was flight tested on a NISHANT UAV.  Besides, over 100 test flights of a 3,000 gram Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) designed and developed by DRDO were carried out.  A Laser Seeker Kit – ‘SUDARSHAN’, for 1,000 pound bombs was developed and initial demand for significant number of seekers kits has been received from the users. Major milestones in the indigenous development of fighter aircraft engine was achieved with the completion of “Official Altitude Testing” (OAT) of Kaveri Gas Turbine Engine for simulated operating conditions.  Subsequently, the flights of Kaveri engine were successfully carried out on a Flying Test Bed (FTB) proving the technological capability and maturity of the indigenous efforts.  This is the first time that an indigenously developed gas turbine engine for fighter aircraft has been flown on a FTB board.  DRDO has developed expertise in the field of testing and certification for various components sub-systems and systems as well as complete airborne platforms.  Thus, Initial Operational Clearance of LCA and Advanced Light Helicopter MK – III were major activities in this area.  Advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated sonar system HUMSA NG was designed, developed and installed on various ships of Indian Navy.  Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of navigation was demonstrated at sea.  A Carbon Dioxide Curtailment System for submarines was designed and developed.  The system has been accepted by the user.  SANJEEVANI MK II, a device designed and developed to locate victims trapped under the debris was handed over to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Kerala Govt. Fire Services.  An advanced facility was created to undertake full scale processing of large Rocket motors.  The facility was commissioned and the casting of various motors commenced.  Development of PINAKA – Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System was achieved with the successful transfer of technology to production agencies, two regiments of PINAKA (worth Rs 1300 crores) have been raised by Army which is likely to place orders for another two regiments.  The Transfer of Technology (ToT) for multimode grenade was completed, for which Army has placed an order for 10 lakh grenades.  Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) for INSAS and AK-47 rifle was introduced into service with order for 10,000 Launchers.  The state-of-the-art microcontroller based system Instant Fire Detection & Suppression System (IFDSS) BMP-2/2K developed for providing protection against fire to the troops & engine compartment, was accepted by the Army.  Production order worth Rs. 168 crores has been received.  MBT Arjun Mark I was successfully inducted in the Army and two regiments of Arjun Main Battle Tank have been raised.  A Carrier Command Post Tracked (CCPT) vehicle was accepted by the Army for induction.  A modified Armoured Amphibious Dozer (AAD) completed its user trials.  User trials of remotely operated vehicle (ROV DAKSH) were successfully carried out and LSP order for 20 numbers is being executed.  Design of Snow Gallery for protection of personnel and equipment from avalanches and design of Instrumented Composite Tower for studies on avalanches were completed.  In the field of electronics and electro-optics, many systems were inducted/accepted by the services.  3D medium range surveillance radar - ROHINI and its naval variant REVATHI were inducted.   3D low-level light weight radar - Aslesha (for IAF) as well as Bharani (for Army) was accepted by the user.  The engineered version of upgraded Weapon Locating Radar (WLR – Swathi) developed by DRDO was realized by the production agency.  The electronic warfare system SAMYUKTA (naval variant) and SUJAV were inducted.  Orders have been received for the Combat Net Radio (CNR) with anti-jamming features.  A holographic sight for rifles/carbines was developed for aiming in closed quarter battle role and was accepted by the users.  Even with the most advanced weapon systems, the man behind machine is the most crucial factor in winning the war.  The Life Sciences laboratories of DRDO continued to develop technology to maximize the operational efficiency of our soldiers and provide them with adequate support and protection.  Some of the major achievements are highlighted.  Three mobile laboratories for nuclear, biological and chemical defence were handed over to the user and rigorous training was imparted to them.  An upgraded first-aid kit for protection against chemical and biological agents as well as the nuclear radiation were accepted by the services.  Technology for producing DRDO developed kits for detection of swine flu was transferred to the production agency.  The Combat Free Fall (CFF) protection system to meet the requirements of high altitude paratrooper’s mission requirements was designed developed and is under limited series production.  A Submarine Escape Set (SES) for escape from an abandoned submarine from depths of 100m was designed and developed.  Navy has projected a requirement of over 400 suits.  Greenhouses were established at power plant locations such as Siachen Base camp, Chushul, Battalik etc and an average of 1400 kg vegetables of high nutritive values were produced in each greenhouse by standardizing the practices and procedures. About 5000 MT of vegetables are locally grown for meeting Army’s requirements  A Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) was designed, developed and accepted by the Air Force.  Series production of systems for deployment at all the Air Force Selection Boards of the IAF is underway.  Yoga Training Modules have been developed for toning up cardio-respiratory, respiratory, endocrine and nervous systems to maintain optimum physical fitness and mental health of troops deployed at high altitude extreme climates. Yoga training was provided to over 2000 personnel who were to be deployed at Siachen Glacier. MoU has been signed with Indian Railways for joint development of Biotoilets to be installed in rail coaches.  Biotoilets have been installed in Lakshadweep Islands and NE region of India for safe disposal of human waste and MoUs signed with Indian Railways & Min. of Urban Development for installation in rail coaches & homes.  MoU with Ministry of Urban Development is under process for joint development of biotoilets and their installation under mass civilian program.  Advanced materials have been always at the core of weapon systems and military hardware. Significant milestones were achieved in this critical area.  A low-alloy steel “DMR-1700” with ultrahigh strength and high fracture toughness was developed as a cost effective replacement of 250 grade maraging steel.  The alloy was successfully proven by successful demonstration in the intended application.  A 500 ton per annum capacity titanium sponge plant based on DRDO technology was set up at Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML).  The Plant was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 27 Feb 2011.  Light-weight composite armour for Mi-17-IV helicopter of IAF has successfully undergone integration and flight-trials.  Technology developed for vacuum investment casting of gas turbine blades for Kaveri engine was extended for making high pressure turbine blades for land-based gas turbine for power generation.  The runways at strategic locations often require rapid repairs.  Many of these locations are in extreme cold regions where the normal concrete does not set in easily.  Technology for rapid repair of runways in cold regions was developed and successfully demonstrated at sub zero temperature.  A dedicated team of DRDO engineers executed highly specialized nature of Civil works at some of the most difficult and hazardous area within the stipulated time frame. Agreements for co-operation / co-development in frontline areas of science, technology and engineering were signed with several countries.  With “Balasya Mulam Vigyanam” as the mool mantra, DRDO continues its march towards building self-reliance in critical defence technology.
500 army men to train in Chhattisgarh's red zone in a bid to injure Maoists' morale
Over 500 army personnel have arrived in the heart of a Maoist insurgency-hit area in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region for training, a move security experts say will psychologically hit the rebels.  The contingent of the army's central command in Lucknow descended for the first time on the Maoist nerve centre of Abujhmad, around 300km from Raipur. Most of the area falls in Narayanpur district of Bastar.  The Chhattisgarh government has agreed to hand over a huge forested terrain of up to 750 sq km to the army for training in jungle warfare. The army men arrived Tuesday and Wednesday.  The army has made it clear that it has stepped into Maoist territory only for "jungle warfare training not for anti-Maoist operation".  However, police officers and counter-terrorism experts say it will make a major psychological impact on Maoists.  "Maoists will feel the heat of the army's entry in their terrain because the insurgents will have a feeling all the time that tigers (armymen) have been positioned just outside their den," said retired brigadier B.K. Ponwar.  Ponwar is now director of the Bastar-region based Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College instituted by the Chhattisgarh government in 2005 to impart training to policemen to "fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla".  "The army's entry into the red zone will give a huge psychological advantage over Maoists who were freely roaming in the sprawling area though the army's role will be restricted in Bastar," Ponwar told IANS.  "The presence of the army is going to be highly significant."  The soldiers will undergo jungle warfare training in the Abujhmad forest area in Bastar region, considered a nerve centre of Maoist militants since the late 1980s.  "The jawans' training will be held right under the nose of Maoists. The men will not carry out any anti-Maoist operation but will fire at Maoists in self-defence if attacked," a military source claimed.  The army's training base will be very close to the area where top leaders of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) are believed to have been holed up for years.  Brigadier Amrik Singh, the Chhattisgarh and Orissa sub-area commander, declared in Raipur Tuesday that soldiers had come to Bastar for receiving training in a difficult forested terrain.  This is the same area from where rebels have carried out a series of attacks on police, paramilitary forces and civilians since 2005, including the massacre of 76 policemen in a single attack in April last year.  "They (Maoists) have been on a killing spree since 2005 in Bastar, they have significantly increased their command areas in the past five to six years by recruiting minors in thousands plus paid fighters who have access to rocket launchers and mortars. But the army's entry into their zone will create a lot of tension for them," said a senior police official.
Indian army responsible for stand off on Siachen deal: Pak daily
Karachi: Quoting a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, Pakistan daily Dawn on Thursday claimed Indian army played a role in the deadlock with Pakistan over the Siachen dispute.   Pakistan daily Dawn, who is in possession of the cable, published excerpts from the leaked cable:  “On Siachen, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) T. C. A. Raghavan” — who has also served as the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan — “reported that the Indian army has drawn a line with its political leadership. It has told the government of India that withdrawal was tantamount to ceding the area to Pakistan due to the difficulty of retaking it should Pakistan occupy it,” wrote the New Delhi embassy in September 2008.  Dawn also claimed that a 2006 cable described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as being under intense domestic pressure and that if a deadlock would materialize, he would need ‘buy-in from the army and the BJP to avoid handing himself a political firestorm'.  The cable further states that former National Security Adviser M. K. Narayan told American officials in May 2005 that “the PM had instructed all his subordinates that ‘we need to accept Musharraf’s bona fides, even on Siachen’ … With this guidance in mind, the Ministry of Defence has been instructed ‘to take as flexible a position as possible’”.  During the two-day meet which ended on May 31, 2011, India and Pakistan failed to arrive at any common ground on the lingering 27-year-old dispute over the ownership of the world's highest battlefield or on demilitarising the 70-km-long glacier in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.  The two parties will meet again for the 13th round of talks  in Islamabad  Pakistan, in fact, presented a "non-paper" -- an unofficial presentation of government policy -- to India on what it thinks about the Siachen dispute. India would respond to the non-paper only after studying it, as the document was handed over by the Pakistan delegation only at the end of the two-day meeting, a defence ministry official said.  "Both sides presented their positions and suggestions towards the resolution of Siachen," a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.  In effect, the defence ministry official said, there was "status quo" on the stated positions of both countries on the Siachen dispute. "It is a good meeting. But there has been no change in both our positions," the official added.  The joint statement was the fourth between India and Pakistan since February this year, the earlier ones being issued after the meetings of their foreign, commerce and home secretaries to discuss bilateral relations.  The talks between Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. Gen. (retd) Syed Athar Ali, held after nearly four years, was the 12th round of discussions on Siachen.
Army's summer war game in Punjab ends
ALANDHAR: The Indian Army Wednesday ended a fortnight-long war game in the plains of Punjab aimed at building the capacities of its pivot corps in delivering deadly blows to enemy forces in a short offensive and at the same time holding its own ground against an adversary's onslaught.  Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh witnessed the training exercises of over 200 battle tanks, infantry combat vehicles and 12,000 troops from the city-based 11 'Vajra' Corps, as they demonstrated various relentless battle manoeuvres through the day and night to meet the strategic objectives assigned to the forces.  The exercise, Pine Prahar, saw the battle tanks, armoured vehicles and troops in full battle gear crossing water and land obstacles and "pulverising" enemy military vehicles and positions with firepower assistance from heavy artillery guns and Indian Air Force fighter jets and combat helicopters, a defence ministry release said.  The exercise comes a fortnight after the army's potent 21 Corps, a Bhopal-based strike formation, practised similar manoeuvres in the Rajasthan desert in the 'Vijayee Bhava' war game.  "The training formations crossed formidable water obstacles and pulverized the exercise enemy through innovative moves and a lethal combination of force multipliers that enhanced their ability to achieve the desired objectives in the shortest time with minimum casualties," the release said.  "The closest integration between man and machine, and between the various components of the all-arms teams was visible in every intricate manoeuvre. A seamless network of information systems, quick and effective decision-making, timely on-call air and artillery support and an enviable logistics back-up were all demonstrated through the different phases of the exercise," it added.  Vajra Corps is called the 'Defenders of Punjab' as it would be the formation that will defend India's territory if enemy forces invade from across the border.  Lt. Gen. S.R. Ghosh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Chandimandir-based Western Command, visited the exercise area to witness the training first-hand.  The army chief, who addressed the troops, urged them to remain ever-ready to achieve every assigned mission in any future war.

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