Dual tasking of Indian army formations

By: |
December 11, 2020 3:21 PM

Amidst the ongoing standoff between India and China, the Indian Army has done some balancing and brought in a large number of the armoured element from Central and western India.

Officials said some posters of Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen terror outfit were also recovered during the operations, threatening to intensify attacks on the security forces. Representative Image

The Indian Army is planning on converting a number of its fighting formations into dual-tasked ones, in case there is a requirement to fight both Pakistan and China.

“The turnover of the units within the Formations is the duty of the Line Directorates at the Army HQ. The strategic and tactical operational plans are the domain of the Army Commanders in conjunction with the Army HQs,” Lt Col Manoj K Channan (Retd) tells Financial Express Online.

The planners in the Indian Army Headquarters are working on these lines due to the ongoing standoff between the forces of India and China. So far the balance of operational preparedness is leaning more towards the Western Borders where three Strike Corps are deployed for offensive actions as compared to one offensive Mountain Strike Corps which was formed specifically for the Northern Borders.

Why?

Because so far the Indian Army had been more focused on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), was not so active.

According to sources, several proposals are under consideration at the Army Headquarters and suggestions are being sought from the different Army commanders since there is an urgent need to enhance preparedness along the LAC.

More about the Strike Corps Deployed on Western Front

On the Western Front there is the 21 Strike Corps in Bhopal, with the Strike One in Mathura.

Also, according to reports, the Kharga Corps in Ambala which are heavily armoured, have their formations located all over the western, central and northern sector Including some which are very close to China border.

Amidst the ongoing standoff between India and China, the Indian Army has done some balancing and brought in a large number of the armoured element from Central and western India.

Due to heavy presence of the Chinese PLA troops along the LAC, as has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the BMPs, T-90s and T-72s by the Indian Army, additionally, three Indian Army Mountain Divisions are deployed in the Eastern Ladakh sector to face around 60,000 Chinese troops in that area.

Expert View of an Indian Army Veteran

Sharing his view with the Financial Express Online, Lt Col Manoj K Channan (Retd) says, “The defensive formations deployed along the International Border, the Line of Control, Line of Actual Control and military mission in a friendly foreign country, with the prime task in training the troops of the country; as well as giving military advice; are standard deployments.”

“The troops are trained for both defensive and offensive tasks in the plains with multi obstacles, semi-desert, desert, hilly and mountainous with jungles and super high altitude terrain. This training is planned at the macro level at Army HQ and micro/unit level by respective formations,” the Indian Army veteran explains.

“Whether we should remain deployed along the LAC and along the borders with Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh is a decision based on the threat analysis, by the newly created DMA headed by the CDS, with inputs from the office of the National Security Advisor,” he opines.

According to him, “Till March this year the LAC was patrolled and defensive deployment was by ITBP. Along the Nepal border, the SSB is deployed and along the International Border with Pakistan and Bangladesh it is BSF. Along the Indo Myanmar border and some locations in Arunachal Pradesh, this task is being carried out by Assam Rifles.

“India has two belligerent neighbours with whom its shares the longest land borders. Till date, the Political leadership and the bureaucracy saw this as a cost centre and have been exploring ways and means to reduce the same. The Chinese intrusions in a way are a boon in disguise to wake up the Country to the threats poised,” he observes.

In conclusion Lt Col Channan says, “It’s an old Army adage the more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war, must be remembered. The defence services need to have adequate reserves to turn around the troops from their deployments without compromising on National Security. I am sanguine that the current CDS is well seized of these challenges and would be working to finding optimal solutions for the same.”

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