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Army pays tributes to 3 soldiers killed in Pampore attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army on Sunday paid floral tributes to the three soldiers killed in a militant attack on an army convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.”In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment here, many senior officials from security agencies including Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF, BSF and SSB, joined General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen J S Sandhu and all ranks in paying homage to the martyrs on behalf of a proud nation,” an army official said.Many officials from the civil administration, including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.
ALSO READ Terrorists attack army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Pampore, 3 soldiers dead Three soldiers were on Saturday killed, while two others jawans were injured in the attack at a place crowded with civilians in Pampore of Jammu and Kashmir.”Martyr Naik (Gnr) Ratheesh C (35) had joined army in 2001 and hailed from Kotolipram, Kannur district in Kerala and is survived by his wife and a son,” the official said. He said 33-year-old Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Bhekrai Nagar village in Pune of Maharasthra had donned the uniform in 2004 and is survived by his wife and twin daughters.Gunner Shashikant Pandey (24) had four years of service and was on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Hailing from Zharian area of Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, he is survived by his parents, the official said.The mortal remains of the martyrs would be flown for last rites to their native places where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, he said.In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their needs and wellbeing, the official said.

Lt Gen Amarjeet Singh Bedi takes over as GOC, Gajraj Corps in Tezpur

Guwahati: Lt Gen Amarjeet Singh Bedi on Friday took over as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Gajraj Corps located in Tezpur.

Bedi replaced Lt Gen Devraj Anbu who has proceeded to take over as GOC-in-C Northern Command, an official release
said in Guwahati.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Lt Gen Bedi has been commissioned into Garhwal Rifle Regiment on 13 June 1981 and has a distinguished military
career, in which he has executed important Command, Staff and Instructor appointments.

He has the credentials of having commanded the oldest Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army – The Formidable Fifth in Arunachal Pradesh and Trishul Division in Leh.

His staff appointments include Colonel General Staff (China) Headquarters Army Training Command and Major General
General staff at Headquarters Eastern Command, the release said.

Prior to taking over the Command of the Gajraj Corps he has served as General Officer Commanding Bengal Area.

Lt Gen Bedi has also done various courses to include the prestigious Defence Service Staff College course at
Wellington, Senior Command Course at Army War College, Higher Command Course from NDU, Beijing, and NDC Course at National Defence College.

He has been decorated with Vishist Seva Medal in 2012 and Yudh Seva Medal in 2015 for his distinguished and gallant service, the release said.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 17:35 IST

India-China joint military exercise ‘Hand-In-Hand 2016’ begins

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opening ceremony of the sixth India China Joint Training Exercise, Exercise Hand in Hand 2016 was held, on Wednesday, at the parade ground in Aundh Military Camp, in Pune.The joint exercise was held in the presence of Major General YK Joshi, ADGMO of Indian Army and Major General Wang Haijiang of the People’s Liberation Army and other senior Army officers of both the countries, said a defence release.The parade was commanded by Lt Col Li Guanghua, Commanding Officer of People’s Liberation Army.”Both the senior military officers of the Indian Army addressed the contingents before Major General Wang Haijiang of Chinese Army declared the Joint Exercise open. The aim of the joint exercise is to acquaint both the Armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter terrorism environment,” it added.”The opening ceremony was followed by both the contingents displaying their weapons which included assault rifles, grenade launchers and other sophisticated equipment.The ceremony concluded with an enthralling and mesmerising display of India martial arts of Kalyaripattu, Khukri dance and Malkhamb by soldiers of Indian Army and a massed martial arts display by the Chinese contingent. The exercise will terminate on November 27,” the statement said.Earlier on November 15, the Chinese contingent from the 13 Group Army, Chengdu Military Region comprising of one Infantry Company along with supporting staff landed at the Lohegaon airfield in two IL- 76 Aircrafts from China.The statement said the 13-day schedule is focused upon training on crossing of obstacles, special heliborne operations, firing of various weapons, handling & neutralisation of improvised explosive devices and conduct of cordon & search operations in insurgency and terrorism environment.

Singaporean navy’s vessel arrives at Visakhapatnam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Singaporean navy’s stealth frigate RSS Formidable on Sunday arrived at Visakhapatnam on a five-day visit to Eastern Naval Command (ENS) as a part of the ongoing Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises.The two navies share a long-standing relationship with regular professional interactions which include exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses.Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with Indian Navy in 1994 and this year’s edition, SIMBEX-16, is being held in the Bay of Bengal region, an official release said. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, RSS Formidable is the first of the six multi-role stealth frigates which forms part of the 185 Squadron based at Changi, the release added.A senior Singapore Navy delegation, headed by Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN is also visiting ENC during the period, it said, adding that the visit will encompass interaction between the personnel of both the navies in various professional, cultural, social and sports events.During the visit, Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer (CO), 185 Squadron of Republic of Singapore Navy, along with Lt Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, CO, RSS Formidable, will call on Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, ENC and Rear Admiral B Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, the release said.The 23rd such exercise in the series is aimed at increasing interoperability between RSN and Indian Navy as well as at developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations, it added.The exercise would include wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase, scheduled from October 31 to November 2, and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase, to be held from November 3-5, according to the release. The thrust of the exercises at sea this year would be on anti-submarine warfare (ASW), integrated operations with surface, air and sub-surface forces, air defence and surface encounter exercises, it said.During SIMBEX-16, Singapore Navy will be represented by RSS Formidable and maritime patrol aircraft Fokker 50, operating from Port Blair.Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS Kamorta, an indigenous ASW stealth corvette, one Sindhughosh-class submarine, in addition to long range maritime patrol aircraft P8I, maritime patrol aircraft Dornier, advanced jet trainer Hawk and integral rotary wing helicopters are also scheduled to participate in the exercise, the release added.In February, Singapore Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Lai Chung Han had visited ENC and participated in IFR-16, held in Visakhapatnam, the City of Destiny, it said.

Slain Colonel Mahadik’s buddies ensure sweet Diwali for unit jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Classmates of an Army officer from Maharashtra, who laid down his life battling militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last year, have sent 400 packets of sweets to soldiers in his unit.Col Santosh Mahadik, the Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was critically injured during the operation in the Haji Naka forest area of Kupwara near the LoC in Kashmir in November and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital later. “The mithai boxes, weighing just over 300 kg, landed at Srinagar airport and are being sent to the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, for distribution among the soldiers the martyr once commanded,” a classmate of Mahadik, involved in this initiative, said. Col Mahadik was a student of Sainik School, Satara. “This Diwali, we thought of his comrades in arms, who suffer harsh climes and the enemy from across the border, as well as some within. We thought this would be a nice gesture for soldiers, who spend Diwali away from their families,” he said.An officer from the elite 21 Para-Special Forces unit, Col Mahadik was awarded a Sena Medal for gallantry during Operation Rhino in the North-East in 2003. Mahadik’s wife Swati last month joined the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai as part of the SSCW (Non-tech) course for 11 months’ training before she joins the Army as a lieutenant. An ace football goalkeeper, a skilled horse-rider and a passionate boxer, Mahadik was an all-rounder, his friends recall.Despite the inhospitable terrain that made the Kupwara operation immensely challenging, the colonel particularly chose to lead his battalion.

Mumbai students ride Army tank, live soldier’s life in Kashmir

It is not every day that one gets to ride an Army tank and experience a soldier’s life, but school children from Mumbai did just that in Jammu and Kashmir, courtesy the Indian Army which gave them the opportunity through ‘Know Your Army’ initiative.Lt Gen R R Nimbhorkar, AVSM, SM, VSM General Officer Commanding of the Nagrota-based White Knight Corps, said the unique programme, which comprised 138 students, four principals and 19 teachers from nine Mumbai schools, enabled students to experience life in the Army.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cultural exchange programme with local schools A tour of the border areas was organised for students and teachers from various schools of Mumbai recently. They visited Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts as part of a week-long tour of the northern state during which they participated in a number of cultural exchange programmes with local schools and interacted with Army personnel. The students were exposed to a large spectrum of activities under the theme ‘Know Your Army’, Gen Nimbhorkar, General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps of Indian Army, said.ExperienceThe tour started with an experience of a tank ride that brought in a real sense of adventure and thrill for the students. They were also shown a wide range of weaponry used by the Indian Army. The children also witnessed some real action through a variety of demo drills. Army soldiers displayed their agility and skill by demonstrating drills that they regularly practice in counter insurgency and counter operations roles, including slithering, casualty evacuation, house clearance and rush drill.The experience showed the young minds how Indian Army soldiers braved tough conditions every day in their endeavour to keep peace in the region, Gen Nimbhorkar said. They also had a chance to interact with local students studying in Army Goodwill Public School, Rajouri, which is managed by the Army. Local students interacted heartily with their counterparts from Mumbai and participated in cultural programmes, debate and quiz competitions, he said. The principals and teaching staff who accompanied the students appreciated the ‘unique opportunity’ of experiencing the J&K region and the Army and expressed hope that there would be more such cultural exchanges which will bring the youth of the country together.Adventurous activitiesThe students experienced a series of fun-filled and adventurous activities, including trekking in the higher reaches of the Pir Panjal range, and understanding how the soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles are striving to bring peace in the region. They also visited the Hall of Fame, where they witnessed a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial, said Gen Nimbhorkar, who hails from Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. “The students learnt and enjoyed pitching up tents for themselves. A selected few were given and exposure to fire small arms while all of them greatly enjoyed the adventurous but bumpy tank rides. The Army Dog Show mesmerised them and the children were fascinated by the highly trained and disciplined canines,” he said.The students also had an opportunity to witness the ongoing training activities in the Corps Battle School at Sarol, wherein soldiers are trained in operational requirements in an insurgency affected area. Students also enjoyed camp fire amid the calm and serene beauty of the region. The students experienced first-hand various activities and training that the soldiers undergo on a daily basis including slithering down from helicopters, obstacle training, and use of weaponry.The tour ended with a presentation ceremony at Nagrota where Gen Nimbhorkar presented certificates to students and encouraged them to serve the nation with pride and join the armed forces. The group comprised students and teaching staff from St Joseph Convent Girls High School, Father Agnel Technical High School, Springfield Public High School, Anjuman-e-Islam High School, St Stanliaus High School, St Mary’s High School and Billabong International.

Decline in trend of youths joining militancy in J&K: Army

Uri: The Army on Thursday claimed that the alarming trend of local youth joining militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a decline with fewer youths joining militant ranks this year as compared to last year.

Securing the Valley. PTISecuring the Valley. PTI

Securing the Valley. PTI

“Last year, a large number of youth got recruited in militancy. But this year we are witnessing a decline in the
trend. This year the number is very less compared to last year and among those who joined the militant ranks, six have returned or surrendered,” General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua told reporters.

He was here in the border town to inaugurate the Chinar Youth Club set up by Army as part of Operation Sadhbavana
(goodwill) to provide opportunities to the local youth to hone their skills in different fields including sports and education.

“We intend to start training for IAS competitive exams for the desirous youths from this year,” he said, highlighting the efforts of Army’s Super-30 coaching programme in which 16 students of the state were selected for IIT this year.

He said the Army is also providing coaching to the local students for the National Defence Academy exams.

Referring to the Chinar Youth Club, he said Army is setting up 70 such clubs across the valley.

More than 20 have already been set up and in the next couple of months, the rest will be completed, Dua said.

The Army commander also dismissed reports that the Army is obstructing tourist activity in Tosamaidan in Central
Kashmir Budgam district and Bangus valley in Handwara area of Kupwara district.

“The reports are baseless and irresponsible. Three years back the lease of Tosamiadan expired and the state government decided not to renew its lease agreement and wanted us to clear the area of the littered explosives, which was a genuine demand.

“Army under an operation cleared the whole area and handed it over to the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Since then, the land is not with us and tourists are going there as well,” he said.

“As far as Bangus valley is concerned, the people mostly do not visit there as it is very sensitive area and also close to the border. If someone wants to visit the valley, we will try he will go there,” Dua said.

About the upcoming Amarnath Yatra starting on 2 July, he said the Army is ready to meet any challenge to ensure a
peaceful pilgrimage and troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) are fully geared to foil any infiltration attempt.


Vice Admiral AR Karve takes charge of Southern Naval Command

Vice-Admiral AR Karve on Sunday took charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) from Vice Admiral Girish Luthra.An impressive ceremonial parade was held at the Naval base on the occasion which was followed by the traditional ‘Pulling Out’ ceremony in which the outgoing Commander-in-Chief, Luthra was ceremonially pulled out in a jeep by Flag Officers and Commanding Officers of ships and naval establishments of Kochi, amidst emotional ‘Jai’- ‘Jai’ by the men of SNC.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier in the day, Vice Admiral Karve laid wreath at the War Memorial, prior to assuming command, as a tribute to the thousands of martyrs who had fought for the country, Navy said in a statement.The Flag Officer, a native of Maharashtra, had arrived in Kochi on Saturday. In his farewell address Vice Admiral Luthra appreciated the synergy that exists in the Southern Naval Command and said without it operations and training cannot be successful. He thanked the men and women of the SNC for the unstinted support he received during his tenure.The Parade was witnessed by many senior officers, men and families of SNC. Vice Admiral Girish Luthra has been appointed Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command.

Indian Navy bids farewell to iconic Sea Harrier, welcomes MIG-29K fighter jets

The illustrious and unique Sea Harriers of Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300) were given a befitting farewell in a function organised at INS Hansa, Goa on Wednesday.The function was attended by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Western Naval Command, serving and retired Officers and men of the Indian Navy and all personnel who have served in the INAS 300.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking on the occasion Admiral RK Dhowan lauded the stellar role played by the squadron in the defence of the country and acknowledged the professionalism of the pilots, the maintainers and all those personnel associated with flying and maintaining the aircraft in peak efficiency during their service.He said that the rich legacy would continue as the baton is being passed on to the proud young crew of the MiG 29K squadron who have been successful in seamlessly integrating the fighters with INS Vikramaditya in the shortest possible time.In appreciation of the faithful service to the nation by INAS 300 ‘White Tigers’, an impressive ceremony was held today which saw the Sea Harriers fly for one last time, and MiG-29K flanking their outgoing cousins and ceremoniously taking their place.The air display included supersonic pass by MiG 29s and formation flying by two each Sea Harriers and MiG 29Ks.The composite air display symbolized a smooth transition from the old to the new in continuance with the proud legacy of the INAS 300.On completion of the Air display, ‘washing down of the Sea Harriers’ was carried out in a traditional manner. A first day cover was also released by Admiral RK Dhowan to mark the occasion.The White Tigers or INAS 300 who stand for excellence, determination and aggressive spirit, heralded the era of carrier borne aviation into the Indian Navy.Almost six decades ago the squadron was commissioned at RNAS Brawdy with its distinctive ‘White Tiger’ logo and equipped with the Sea Hawk aircraft.After providing yeoman service for over two decades, the squadron was subsequently reincarnated with Sea Harriers in 1983. This premier carrier borne fighter squadron achieved iconic status in the Indian Navy with its distinguished service, receiving numerous gallantry awards which include one Maha Vir Chakra, four Vir Chakras and one Nau Sena Medal.From the time the white tigers came into being, ‘Three Hundred’ as the squadron is colloquially called, brought about transformational change in concept of naval operations. INAS 300 with its potent sea harriers formed the teeth of naval combat power and consequently was the center piece of naval operational strategy.With their professionalism, the White Tigers assured control of these as by ensuring air dominance for the Carrier Battle Group and were a force to reckon with, with their combat skills appreciated by many which included foreign navies as well as the Indian Air Force.After 33 years sterling service, the sea harriers were being de-inducted from the Navy and under took its last flight today.To continue the proud ‘White Tiger’ legacy, the squadron has been re-equipped with the new and more lethal MiG 29Ks.INAS 300 would thus be re-equipped with the new swing role air dominance fighter giving the squadron enhanced combat power and offensive capability. For the versatile White Tigers, this resurrection also marks a full cycle from commissioning ‘Tail Hooking Sea Hawks’ to the ‘Vectored Thrust’ Sea Harrier era; and now with the induction of the MiG-29k to this elite squadron, marks the return of the ‘Tail Hookers’.

Kolkata flyover tragedy: Manohar Parrikar asks armed forces to assist in rescue work

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday directed the armed forces to provide all assistance in relief and rescue operations in the flyover collapse in Kolkata.LIVE INDIA vs WEST INDIES 2nd semi final T20, ICC World T20″Defence Minister expresses his shock at Kolkata flyover collapse and grief on loss of lives. Directs armed forces to provide all needed assistance,” a Defence spokesperson said.General Officer Commanding-In-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Eastern Command Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi said, “The Army expresses its condolences to the bereaved families on this tragedy. Army is fully committed in providing all possible resources and assistance till the rescue operations are completed.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence officials said the state government had sought the help of Army in the relief and rescue operations after which five columns of rescue personnel were deployed.Each column roughly consists of 60 men including three medical teams, surgeons along with nursing assistants. The Army has sent 10 ambulances along with its complement of medics to the spot.A team of engineers from the Army has also reached the spot with cranes, water bowsers, gas cutters and specialist equipment to help the civic authorities dismantle the debris, officials said.General Officer in Command of Army’s Bengal area Lt Gen Rajeev Tewary went to the spot of accident to monitor rescue operations as many people were trapped under the concrete debris of the flyover.

Siachen avalanche: Body of Army jawan recovered from under snow

Jammu/Srinagar: The body of an army jawan, who had gone missing after an avalanche hit a patrol in Siachen’s Turtuk sector in Ladakh region, was recovered from under the snow on Saturday.

The avalanche claimed the life of another jawan, lance havildar Bhawan Tamang, whose body was retrieved soon after.

“Mortal remains of Rifleman Sunil Rai, who was buried under snow after an avalanche struck an army patrol on 25 March 25 in the Turtuk Sector, was recovered by rescue teams this morning,” a defence spokesman said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The mortal remains of the soldiers are being evacuated from the area of the avalanche, after which a wreath laying ceremony will be conducted.

“Thereafter, they will be transported by air to their native places where their funeral will be held with full military honours,” the spokesman said.

He said Tamang is survived by his wife, a six-year-old daughter and his parents, whereas Rai is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.

General officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C) of the Northern Command Lt Gen DS Hooda expressed his deep condolences to the families of the jawans.

“The Indian Army fraternity stands shoulder to shoulder with the bereaved families in their hour of grief,” Lt Gen Hooda said.

The avalanche had hit the patrol party around 8 am on Friday in Turtuk area of Siachen – the highest battleground in the world.


In the militancy plagued valley, joining Indian Army is a new craze

For those who raise alarm over the radicalisation of youth and home grown militancy, this should come as a good news. Shunning taboos, hundreds of Kashmiri youth thronged the army recruitment rallies to become the proud soldiers in order to serve the country.Such was the enthusiasm that more than 2,300 Kashmiri youth applied for less than 50 posts in different branches of the Indian Army. Over 1,500 candidates turned up for the 30 vacancies of soldiers at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regimental Centre in the first phase of recruitment rally for Shopian and Srinagar districts.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the second phase of recruitment to fill two vacancies of tradesmen, over 700 candidates appeared in the rally from almost all districts of Jammu and Kashmir with maximum representation from Baramulla, Bandipora and Anantnag districts.”The army offers a lifetime opportunity of adventure, education, progression besides dignity and self-esteem to a soldier, as also to his family. The overwhelming response to the rally is but a reaffirmation of the Kashmiri youth’s growing aspirations to embrace the noble profession of soldering for the nation,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Given the huge craving among the youth to join the forces, Indian Army has planned several recruitment rallies across Jammu and Kashmir in coming months.”Army is sensitive to the growing desire of Kashmiri youth and has started conducting recruitment in a phased manner. The rallies for recruitment into all categories of the army will be held in Sunjuwan in Jammu, Bandipora in Kashmir and Drass in Ladakh in the coming months,” said Colonel Joshi.The huge response to army recruitment rallies comes in the backdrop of the reports of rising radicalisation of youth and home grown militancy in the valley. Figures reveal that over 60 local and highly educated youth joined the militancy in the last year alone sparking fears about the new breed of radicalised ultras overtaking the foreign counterparts in the valley.In contrast, 242 young soldiers of the state passed out from JAKLI centre on Saturday after grueling training of eleven months. What was icing on the cake was the huge rush of people thronging the JAKLI centre on Saturday to watch the parade by the young soldiers.Over 3,000 spectators including proud parents and relatives of the soldiers, veterans and other guests watched the parade of the young recruits turned soldiers.Lieutenant General Satish Dua, General officer Commanding (GOC), in his address praised their contribution in encouraging more youth from J&K to come forward to join security forces. “He even highlighted the vital role played by their parents in motivating their children and wards to join this noble profession,” said Colonel Joshi.

Security stabilised after Pathankot attack but needs to improve: IAF

Shillong: The security scenario in the country has stabilised after the Pathankot attack, though it is yet to improve, Air Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Air Command C Harikumar said on Monday.

“Though stabilised, we have not been able to improve (our security),” Harikumar told reporters in Shillong on Monday.

“Our country has been fighting to improve security for quite sometime. We have inimical agents that are not allowing us to settle that,” he said.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The Eastern Air Command Chief said, “No other country will find so much police visible all over. Though stabilised, we have not been able to improve.”

“Post Pathankot incident and thereafter in Jammu and Kashmir, we realised that we need to have added emphasis to ensure that our bases are more secure,” Harikumar said.

“We have made SOPs, we have made a lot of decisions and a lot of brainstorming on this. We are seeing how we can involve everybody, including the state, as our outer cover to ensure that our assets are not affected,” he said.

Harikumar hosted a two-day seminar on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) aimed at synergising all state governments, army, navy, para-military forces in any emergency or disaster relief operations in the future.

In the past five years, IAF helicopters have successfully evacuated 10,868 persons from several disaster zones or flood- affected areas in the Eastern Command’s reach.

During the same time, over 1,200 hours of flying efforts have been made for such operations, defence spokesman Amit Mahajan said.

In the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, the need to involve IAF in all four steps of disaster management – mitigation, preparation, response and recovery – by all agencies was reiterated during the seminar.

In other presentations, HADR in remote locations of the NE region, air maintenance towards the sustenance of armed forces and civilian population were also discussed, Mahajan added.


Pampore encounter: Army says no hurry to flush out militants, main aim to avoid more casualties

The army on Monday said it was in no hurry to flush out the militants holed up in a government building in Pampore area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway as the main aim is to avoid further casualty to security forces.As the operation against the ultras entered the third day, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua, told reporters here, “There is no time limit. There is no hurry. Our main purpose is to make sure that we do not have anymore casualty. We will take as long as it takes to clear the building.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The army commander said the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) is a vast campus and it requires specialised forces to clear the holed-up militants.”Two main buildings have been cleared and now the terrorists have taken position in the (third) building. It is a huge campus of 15 acres. It has three main buildings apart from a couple of other ancillary buildings.”This main building is four floors and a cafeteria or a canteen on top. It has 40-50 rooms, not counting the smaller rooms and toilets, and an area of 10,000 square feet. So, each of the floors has to be cleared room by room. So, specialised units are required to clear it,” Dua said.”As the operation is in progress, I will not be able to say anything more on it except that our specialised units are having complete synergy with the CAPFs (Central Armed Paramilitary Forces),” he said.So far, the paramilitary has suffered two fatal casualties and nine other personnel have been wounded, Dua said, adding, the army lost three bravehearts, all of whom were from special forces.He said all civilians have been evacuated.The Corps Commander said the army does not have any identification of the holed-up militants.”As of now, we do not have any identification. It is still a work in progress,” he said.Earlier, the army paid floral tributes to the two army men killed in the encounter yesterday.The wreath laying ceremony was held at the army’s Badami Bagh headquarters here, where the army commander, along with Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, K Rajendra, paid floral tributes to the brave hearts.”Lance Naik Om Prakash and Captain Tushar Mahajan fell to the militants’ bullets yesterday. It only goes to show that our young officers are brave young leaders who always lead from the front. We are sad at the loss but these young lads have done the army and the nation proud,” Dua said.He said when the army contacted their parents, they felt very proud about the sacrifice made by their sons.”Both the fathers are school teachers and they were very proud of their sons. To get such a reaction from a father when he gets such news, is something that does the nation proud and we can see where these young leaders got the genes of bravery from,” the army commander said.

Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorist hideout busted in Ramban, arms & ammunition seized

Army on Saturday busted a terrorist hideout in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir and seized huge quantity of arms and ammunition.The troops of Rashtriya Rifles battalion along with J&K Police busted a militant hideout in the dense forest of Bajpathri area in Ramban district, Defence Spokesman said. They seized huge quantity of arms, ammunition and other war like stores, he said.The arms and ammunition seized from the hideout include three pistols with magazines, 2042 rounds of AK 47, 25 rounds of sniper rifle, five hand grenades, five magazines of AK-47, two radio sets, one weapon sight and other sustenance stores, he said. The hideout is believed to be of militants who have been killed in the past by Security Forces.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>General Officer Commanding Delta Force complimented the troops who took part in the operation and commented that the recovery of this huge cache is in continuation with the sustained efforts of Delta Force, the Spokesman added.

INS Viraat sets sail for final voyage

After guarding India’s maritime borders for nearly 60 years, Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, set sail on her final journey before its retirement later this year.The world’s oldest operational aircraft carrier, which entered service on May 12, 1987, on Friday reached Paradip port, Odisha for the very first time. The ship will now move to Kakinada Port and from there to Chennai and finally Mumbai.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last week, INS Viraat took part in International Fleet Review (IFR) at Visakhapatnam, in which more than 100 ships from 50 navies from around the world participated.Prior to being commissioned into the Indian Navy, the aircraft carrier had served as the HMS Hermes with the Royal Navy and went on to serve with distinction in the 1982 Falklands Islands War against Argentina.The ship has seen 18 Commanding Officers of which three went onto become Chiefs of Naval Staff viz Admiral Madhvendra Singh, Admiral Arun Prakash and Admiral Nirmal Verma. The ship has done over 40,000 hours of steaming and traversed over 5,00,000 nautical miles across the proverbial seven seas. The ship has undertaken over 20,000 hrs of flying from its deck.

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