NEW DELHI: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday witnessed the first-of-its-kind exercise of 17 Mountain Strike Corps to test its battle readiness at an area in Sela, about 90 km from the Line of Actual Control.
The Corps participated in its new configuration having Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs). “General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, reviewed the collective training conducted by troops of Eastern Command at Sela (Arunachal Pradesh) on 22-23 October 2019,” the Army said in a statement.
Addressing the troops of the Army and the Air Force, General Rawat said, “This exercise was planned with an aim to see the capabilities of the 17 Corps which was raised six years back.” Formations from far-flung areas participated in the daring exercise.
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Sources said the exercise was done to test mobility, communication and coordination of such a huge body of fast-moving troops in difficult terrain. “The Indian Army is metamorphosing itself to incorporate changes for modern and quick and short war,” a military officer told this newspaper.
Three newly raised IBGs, each comprising around 4,000 soldiers, participated in conducting troop mobilisation, mountain assault and air assault drills. Elements of special forces were also a part of it. Every IBG will be firmed up according to the terrain and operation on ground.
Air force and Army helicopters were used to transfer troops and equipment at the terrain of up to 15,000 ft. It is the height at which most of Indian troops are deployed at LAC.
“Such exercises are routinely carried out to evaluate the operational efficiency of formations & units and also to assess the leadership in exercising command and control for their reactions to emerging situations,” the Army. “As part of the annual training schedule, Army formations are conducting exercises in desert sector of the Western Theatre and simultaneously exercises in the Eastern Theatre.”
War equipment rolled out at 10,000 ft
Tanks, medium artillery, helicopters and transport aircraft took part in the Mountain Strike Corps’ unique exercise at over 10,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh near the Line of Actual Control (LAC)