NEW DELHI: Indian Army undergoing its biggest transformation has started its biggest mountain assault exercise.
“Exercise ‘Him Vijay' has begun. As it is in phases the first important phase will be from 7 -10 October and the other phase will be from 20- 24 October." told a senior officer on the condition of anonymity.
The exercise is to test mobility, communication and coordination of such huge body of fast-moving troops in difficult terrain. Indian Army is metamorphosing itself to incorporate changes for modern and quick and short war, added the Army officer.
Three Battle Groups, each comprising around 4000 soldiers, are participating which will include troop mobilisation, mountain assault and air assault. Elements of special forces will also be part of it.
Air force and Army helicopters will be transferring troops and equipment at the terrain of upto 15,000 ft.
Clearing the doubts on the timing and location pertaining to the exercise the officer said it is as per a set calendar, operational changes and is deeper inside Indian territory.
“The exercise is being done more than 100 kilometres inside the Indian Territory from the Line of Actual Control. It has been positioned with the annual ‘Op Alert' which the Army's 3 Corps (Tezpur) and 4 Corps (Rangapahar) carry.”
The protocol requires, ‘If either side conducts a military exercise involving more than one Brigade Group (approximately 5,000 troops) in close proximity to the Line of Actual Control, it shall not be targeted against the other side. The side undertaking the exercise shall give, through Flag Meetings, the other side prior intimation 15 days in advance of the exercise with regard to type, level, planned duration and area of exercise as well as the number and type of units or formations participating in the exercise.'
The sensitivities arose as Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in India from October 11-13 for the second informal bilateral meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.
“It is an important exercise for validation of the operational concepts of the newly raised Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) to meet the requirements of modern warfare keeping the military progress of the enemy threats in mind."
It was in late 2018 that Army, after a major study and discussions, decided to re-configure certain fighting formations of the Army. Integrated Battle Groups both on the Western and Northern borders have been created for quicker and formidable launch of attack on enemy. The IBGs will be a body of about 5-6 Units but their configuration will depend on the operational terrain and aim Indian forces want to achieve.
The Combat Arms like the Infantry, Armoured, Artillery and Mechanised Infantry will be at one place to train together. Depending on mountain, desert or plains the combat support units of the engineers, signals, ordinance and supply will be integrated. There will be Integrated Infantry Battle Groups, Integrated Armoured Battle Groups and Integrated Artillery Battle Groups.
India and China share a boundary (Line of Actual Control- LAC) of 3488 kilometres of which 1126 kilometres lie between Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet. There are differences regarding the perception of Line of Actual Control
Bonhomie between India and China has risen due to improvements into relationship and CBMs on grounds. Exercise ‘Him Vijay' is taking place in Arunachal Pradesh.