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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

From Today's Papers - 15 Aug 2012
Gallantry awards for Army chopper pilot, 2 CRPF men
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
An Army Aviation chopper pilot who lost his life on a daring sortie at 18,000 ft in Siachen Glacier is among the list of Shaurya Chakra awardees. Two CRPF officials, who are part of the specialised COBRA battalion tasked for anti-Naxal operations, have won a Shaurya Chakra each for their acts of bravery.

The Shaurya Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in peacetime. A total of 15 such awards were announced today. The President also approved the following Gallantry medals: Bar Sena Medal 1, Sena Medal 42, Nao Sena Medal 3 and Vayu Sena Medal 1.

The Ministry of Defence today said Major Chandra Shekhar Singh, the Army Aviation chopper pilot, will be awarded the medal posthumously. His duty was to support ground troops, deployed at a totally air-maintained post at 18,000 ft in Siachen Glacier. He delivered the supplies but could not survive.

In the CRPF, Assistant Commandants Nagendra Singh and Vinoj P Joseph have been awarded for neutralising top Naxal leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji, a Politbureau and central committee member of CPI (Maoist), near Jhargram in West Bengal on November 24, 2011. The two had faced a fierce gun-battle from the well-armed Maoists.

Among other Shaurya Chakra awardees are Lieutenant Colonel Dhruvjyoti Chanda, Major Amit Mohindra, Major TN Unnikrishnan, Major Himanshu Panwar, Major Vijayendra Singh Yadav, Major Saurabh Suyal, Major Pradeep Mishra, Lieutenant Satya Jeet Ahlawat, Havildar Charanjit Singh and Lance Naik Patey Tassuk.
Work with honesty, Antony tells armed forces
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
In a telling statement on the eve of Independence Day Defence Minister AK Antony said corruption is a serious challenge facing our nation and the Armed Forces are no exception and went on to ask the forces to renew the pledge to work with honesty, fairness and transparency.

“Corruption not only affects the morale of the personnel, but also has many other implications,” Antony said in his customary broadcast over the All India Radio (AIR) to the Armed Forces this evening.

Armed Forces of India have been known for their hard work, determination, efficiency and discipline. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the excellent work done by our Armed Forces is not undone at any cost.

Saying that the terrorism had still not been rooted out completely, Antony stressed on the need to be vigilant. Utmost restraint and discipline must be exercised, he said. “There must not be even a single case of human rights violations anywhere. Such violations undo at one stroke, all the good work and tarnish the image of our Forces,” Antony said.
Indian Army gets battle-ready on Jaisalmer border with Pakistan
Jaipur: Jaisalmer is set to house the first “model modern military station” of the country with reduced response time to emergencies, battle-ready capabilities in modern warfare and a set up critical to the supply chain for army rationing.

According to highly placed sources, the Indian Army has decided to develop a modern army base in the border district to cut down on the response time to an emergency, including a reduction in travel time in case of a disturbance along the border. It’s proximity to the international border of India and Pakistan has got the army to reap the benefits of this strategic location for securing the nation against any foreign aggression in future.

At present, the army base at Jodhpur is trained to respond to a situation across the border, but to expedite heavy military movement, a station close to the border is being put up, sources said. The distance from Jodhpur to the border is around 300 km. Having a base at Jaisalmer would save at least 6-7 hours for the troops. “In case of disturbance or war-like situation, when every minute counts, such a response time can turn the situation around,” a reliably placed official said, adding, “Because of its location Jaisalmer is being developed as a defence hub; the defence department has identified some places where the latest technology would be installed as a tactical ploy in modern warfare; Jaisalmer is one of them.”
However, the officer refused to divulge details about the facility that is being installed in Jaisalmer.

A senior administrative official in Jaisalmer said, “Several units have already moved from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer. And the scale of the activities clearly indicates that Indian Army has big plans for Jaisalmer.” The officer also said that the availability of land for setting up an enterprise of such scale facilitated the development of the station in Jaisalmer. “In other border districts availability of land was an issue,” the officer said.

Lt Gen Philip Campose, GOC Desert Corps, who was on official visit to Jodhpur recently, confirmed the development and said, “Jaisalmer would be an example for other military stations of the country.” Without going into the details Campose said modernisation of Indian Army is a top Turn topriority just like other developed countries have done for strengthening their forces. A unique feature of the upcoming military base at Jaisalmer is that it would be a residential-cum-operational establishment.

In addition, a unique and modernised perishable store shed has been set up in Jaisalmer to ensure that there is no quality deterioration in fresh rations along the supply chain and that the rations reach troops in farm-fresh state.
Perks for Indian Army Underway: A K Anthony
Defence Minister A K Antony announced that the Central government set up a nutritious ready-to-eat diet program 'AAHAR' in order to meet the fresh food requirements of jawans in the country. The announcement came on the eve of 66th Independence Day when Antony addressed the Armed Forces personnel over All India Radio.

In his speech the Defence Minister also expressed his and the UPA government's concerns for the welfare of jawans who are serving the country in the toughest and unreceptive terrain. "Our Government has been making all-out efforts to improve your living and working conditions. We have taken several steps to further improve the quality of rations, accommodation and clothing. Our scientists have developed a nutritious, ready-to-eat diet called "AAHAR". This will go a long way in meeting requirements of fresh food of all you jawans", Antony said.

The 66th Independence Day seems to have brought a host of perks for the Indian armed forces. To increase the service for the Ex servicemen, the government has widened the scope of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) further by introducing more polyclinics and regional health centers under the Married Accommodation Project (MAP), which is also underway along with the AAHAR plan.
The MAP would ensure good living of army men. About 54,000 residences have already been constructed and 70,000 dwelling units' constructions have begun, the Defence Minister added.

He also made a remark on the country's biggest challenge i.e. corruption by appealing to the army men to keep away from this evil phenomenon and to get involved in work with honesty and transparency.

"Corruption not only badly affects the morale of the personnel, but also has many other implications. I appeal to each one of you to renew the pledge to work with all the honesty, fairness and transparency at your command in your day-to-day work".

Antony further spoke about the commissioning of INS Bazz, the Naval Air Station at Campbell Bay and INS Chakra, which will help in defence and also convey blue water capability to the Navy.

Antony congratulated army sportsmen who have done incredible performance at the London Olympics and brought laurel to the country. He concluded his speech by expressing grief over the loss of lives in various natural calamities across the country.

"My sympathies are with the survivors of the Nature's fury in Jammu & Kashmir, north-eastern states, Assam, Uttarkashi and other parts of the country, which have seen the worst type of floods in recent times. My heartfelt condolences go out to those, who lost their near and dear ones, including Armed Forces personnel."
Corruption badly affects morale of defence forces: AK Antony
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday said corruption was a serious challenge which badly affected the morale of defence personnel and urged them to renew their pledge to work with honesty, fairness and transparency.

In his customary address to the armed forces on the eve of Independence Day, Mr Antony cautioned them against human rights violations in the fight against terrorism, saying it tarnished the image of the forces.

Raising the issue of graft in the initial part of his address, Mr Antony said corruption affected the morale of the personnel, "Corruption is today a serious challenge facing our nation - and our armed forces are no exception to the rule. Corruption not only badly affects the morale of the personnel, but also has many other implications. I appeal to each one of you to renew the pledge to work with all the honesty, fairness and transparency at your command in your day-to-day work."
The Defence Minister added that the armed forces were known for hard work, determination, efficiency and discipline. "It is our individual duty and collective responsibility to ensure that the excellent work done by our armed forces in general, is not undone at any cost," the minister said.

The defence minister said terrorism continued to be one of the major challenges and there was need to be vigilant. "You are faced with challenges on this front day in and day out. However, while being vigilant, on the one hand, you must exercise utmost restraint and discipline, on the other hand. There must not be even a single case of human rights violation anywhere. Such violations undo, at one stroke, all the good work and tarnish the image of our armed forces," Mr Antony said.

The defence minister said modernisation and indigenisation remained at the centre of all efforts of the government to help the armed forces and added that the successful test of Agni-V had proved that "when it comes to indigenisation, it is only a question of will power". He said the government was making the best efforts to ensure that there were no procedural delays in pension-related cases of ex-servicemen.

The all-round welfare of jawans was a top priority for the government and steps had been taken to further improve the quality of rations, accommodation and clothing, he said.

Mr Antony said the commissioning of INS Baaz and Naval Air Station at Campbell Bay will impart blue water capability to the navy and added that commissioning of INS Chakra and indigenously developed stealth frigate INS Sahyadri and naval version of indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft will sharpen country's attack capabilities.

The Defence Minister also hailed Subedar Vijay Kumar who won a silver medal in shooting in the 25-metre rapid fire pistol event at the London Olympics. He also congratulated the Indian Army Women Expedition team that put 17 climbers atop the Mount Everest and the Delphinus team of air warriors of Indian Air Force which recently swam across the English Channel successfully under extreme conditions.

Recalling his visit to forward areas, Mr Antony said high morale of defence force personnel has always been a source of great encouragement and inspiration.$74.5%20Billion%20On%20Weapons%20During%202012-13
India To Spend $74.5 Billion On Weapons During 2012-13
Tue, Aug 14, 2012 14:15 CET
      India's Ministry of Defense will receive $74.5 billion to spend on weapons acquisition and modernization of all three forces, according to figures revealed by Defence Minister AK Antony in Parliament.

      Of the multi-billion dollar budget, the air force will receive a bulk of budget with $30.5 billion in its kitty. Meanwhile, the Navy and Army will receive $24.7 billion and $19.2 billion each.

      Defence Minister Antony said that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), India's supreme defence procurement agency, had approved a fifteen year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) 2012-2027 and five year services.

      Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) for modernisation of the Armed Forces. The Ministry refused to provide specific details of the plan, saying, “Revealing further details would not be in the interest of national security”.

      The MoD is at present inducting and/or upgrading the following artillery into service; Pinaka Rocket System, BrahMos Missile System and is procuring 155mm / 39 calibre Ultra Light Howitzer, 155mm / 52 calibre Towed Gun and 155mm / 52 calibre Mounted Gun System among others.

      India is in the final stages of negotiations with Dassault for the procurement of the 126 Rafale fighter aircraft as part of the almost $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) programme.

      The Air Force is also set to receive 75 Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 turbo-prop trainer aircraft while the Army is keen to acquire 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers worth $647 million.
Pacom Works to Advance U.S.-India Strategic Partnership

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

CAMP SMITH, Hawaii, Aug. 14, 2012 – As U.S. Pacific Command strives to build stronger alliances and partnerships across the Asia-Pacific region, one of its big focuses is on taking the military-to-military relationship with India to the next level.
The new defense strategic guidance announced in January resets U.S. priorities toward the region, specifically calling for investments in a long-term strategic partnership with India “to support its ability to service as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region.”

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, who took command of Pacom in March, is using that guidance as his marching orders as he implements the expanded Asia-Pacific strategy.

“We hope to partner with [India] to share the strategic landscape as it applies to how we apply security to the globe that allows prosperity and peace, freedom of movement and … prosperity in the world,” he told American Forces Press Service.

India’s strategic location between West Asia and the Middle East, and its ascent across economic, military, diplomatic and informational fronts makes it an influential leader in the region, said Army Col. Michael Albaneze, director of Locklear’s India strategic focus group.

The group of six military and civilian experts, one of three “mini think tanks” within the Pacom staff, advises Locklear and his senior staff on a broad range of issues that shape India’s strategic environment, and ways to advance the U.S.-India strategic partnership, Albaneze explained.

It’s a partnership that’s been slow in forming, he conceded. For the past half-century, India has been a leader in the nonaligned movement, and it has an official policy of being “strategically autonomous.”

That said, Albaneze recognized signs of India’s willingness to engage increasingly with the United States as it rises on the world stage. The two countries had their first strategic dialogue in 2010, with two more since then, the most recent in June.

Without a long history of cooperation, Albaneze noted a “maturing process” that could, over time, evolve into a more typical relationship characterized by routine engagement across the board. “We are not quite there yet, but there is a lot of effort in trying to move in that direction,” he said, adding that the relationship is continuing to deepen.

One high point is the exercise program. India partners with the United States in dozens of military exercises every year as it builds an increasingly strong military. Its navy is one of the world’s largest, and its army deploys routinely for peacekeeping operations, Albaneze noted.

Most of the exercises tend to be at the component level. The annual Exercise Malabar involves the U.S. and Indian navies, with several international observers during its latest iteration, in April. The U.S. and Indian armies train together through Yudh Abhyas exercises, frequently weaving humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenarios into the engagements.

The two countries’ air forces train together through Cope India exercises, and the Indian air force participated for the first time in the U.S.-sponsored Red Flag exercise in 2008. Although India has no marine corps, U.S. Marines train with an Indian army brigade that specializes in amphibious operations during Exercise Shatrujeet.

“Those are just the major mil-mil engagements,” Albaneze said, noting a broad array of other military-to-military engagements and exchanges at U.S. and Indian military training centers and schoolhouses.

Both the United States and India hope to increase the complexity of the exercise program over time, he said, and to elevate them into joint engagements that involve more than just one service.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta underscored during his visit to India in June, just ahead of the 2012 U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, that a “close partnership with America will be key to meeting India's own stated aims of a modern and effective defense force.”

“We have built a strong foundation,” the secretary said. “But for this relationship to truly provide security for this region and for the world, we will need to deepen our defense and security cooperation.”

That, Panetta said, extends to closer collaboration in sharing defense technology and developing future systems. Despite India’s decision not to buy a U.S. advanced jet fighter, U.S. defense sales to India have grown to more than $8 billion with the potential to increase more.

The secretary recognized legal restrictions that have hampered some sales, and vowed to work to eliminate as many hurdles as possible.

“The United States is firmly committed to providing the best defense technology possible to India,” he told Indian leaders in Delhi, while recognizing India’s ambitions to advance its own defense industry. “We are both leaders in technology development and we can do incredible work together,” Panetta said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter followed up that visit in July, encouraging India to move forward in engaging with the United States across the spectrum, from dialogue to exercises to defense trade and research cooperation.

“We want to develop a joint vision for U.S.-India defense cooperation,” Carter said. “We want to knock down any remaining bureaucratic barriers in our defense relationship, and strip away the impediments. And we want to set big goals to achieve.”

Recognizing the many mutual and converging interests the United States and India share, Albaneze said he’s hopeful about their future prospects.

“I am an optimist on the relationship,” he said. “Every time there is a hiccup, I just think that it’s part of our getting to learn more and more about each other, and how we interact.

“Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back,” Albaneze continued. “But at the end of the day, we still made a step forward -- and that is really what we are trying to do in the region.”
Army commander to visit troops in Belgaum today
BELGAUM: Army commander lieutenant general AK Singh will visit Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre here on Tuesday.

He will review the ongoing Indo-Mongolian joint training exercise at MLIRC and will interact with both the troops. MLIRC Commander Brigadier Santosh Kurup will receive the army commander at Samra airport at 9.45am.

A platoon of Indo-Mongolian joint training is going on from August 6 and will conclude on August 18. The training aims to modernize Mongolian defence establishment, train their defence personnel for serving in the UN peacekeeping force in conflict areas and enhance inter operability between the two armies while carrying out counter insurgency/counter terrorism operation during peacekeeping operations under UN mandates. This also enhances defence cooperation, understanding and synergy between the two armies and rekindles the centuries old relationship between the two nations. The training code-named as 'Nomadic Elephant 2012'.

There are 38 personnel from Mongolian army and 44 specially selected personnel Jat regiment.
N-E Trilogy author to co-author V K Singh autobiography
After lending his support to Team Anna and Baba Ramdev, former Army Chief General V K Singh will now write his autobiography that will focus on his military career. The book, which is set to be released next year, is incidentally being co-authored by Kunal Verma, who also penned a three-volume work on the Northeast published by the Indian Army last year.

As reported by The Indian Express, the Army had last year spent Rs 93.15 lakh on the book, possibly the highest ever amount spent on a publication project by it. Verma, whose father Maj Gen (retd) A K Verma was among those who filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against General Bikram Singh’s appointment as the Army Chief along with retired Navy Chief L Ramdas, former IAS officer M G Devasahayam and four others, confirmed that he would be co-authoring the book and said it would focus on the military career of the officer.

The book, which will be published by the Aleph Book Company, will also contain “insights into the inner workings of the Army at various levels and its equation with the political establishment and the bureaucracy”.

It will also delve into the officer’s controversial two-year tenure as the Army Chief during which he had several run-ins with the government as he took on the Defence Ministry on the age issue, even going to the Supreme Court against the decision of the government.

“Outspoken and candid, General Singh’s autobiography is a revealing, compelling and occasionally controversial account of the Indian Army as well as the story of a straight-talking officer who was never afraid to stand by his convictions,” a note on the book sent by its publishers stated.

“The book will hopefully bring about a greater understanding of our armed forces and the men who make them what they are — especially when honour drives each man to stand by moral principles of what he considers to be right and wrong,” Gen Singh said, according to a press release issued by the publishers.

Verma, who has written several books concerning the armed forces and courted controversy for the Northeast Trilogy, has said the objective of the book is to tell the story as “simply and honestly” as possible.

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