NEW DELHI: The biggest exercise to overhaul the Headquarters of the world’s second largest Army has culminated with the final approval coming from the government.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday, “Government approves overall restructuring of the Armed Forces Headquarters.” Now the Army will go for Government Sanction Letter added the Chief.
This important restructuring exercise started with the aim to transform the Army into a more lethal force to meet the desired offensive and defensive capabilities of modern warfare. The whole exercise was done in four parts - first, restructuring the army headquarters; second, reorganising the Army; third, cadre review of officers; and fourth, enhancing the colour service of soldiers.
The Headquarters have freed 129 officers of the rank of the Major and Lt Colonels to join the fighting formation in the field areas. In all, 1,332 officers, including the Chief of Army Staff, are posted at Army HQ, and the proposal is to trim the number to 1,203 officers.
Within the headquarters, the study identified the various posts and departments which were created but we're doing the same work and these have been either done away with or are being pruned and merged with other verticals.
Director General Military Training, a Lt General, has been merged with the Army Training Command and this will be dealt with by a Major General rank officer. Similarly, The Counter Terror Formation Rashtriya Rifles, based out Delhi has been moved to Northern Command, Udhampur for better operational coordination as this force of the 63 battalions operates in the Kashmir. Also, it will now be headed by a Major General instead of a Lt General.
A new post of the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy) has been created to oversee the work of Military Operations, Military Intelligence and Operational Logistics. This is meant to reduce the burden on the vice chief’s office.
The terms of employment of the soldiers and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and the Officers have also been worked out. The endeavour is to retain the trained soldiers up to the 17 years of service, who at present leaves the force after 15 years. Similarly, an officer will become a colonel in 23 years in places of 25-26 years. Another operational change finalised is to create a new fighting formation of Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) which will hit the enemy fast and with overwhelming firepower.
The study was completed earlier but the final sanction has come now.