New Delhi, January 3
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Sunday took stock of India’s security preparedness in several forward bases near the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh on the second day of his visit to the frontier state amid the nearly eight-month-long Sino-India standoff in eastern Ladakh.
Gen Rawat interacted with personnel of the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) deployed in the forward most air maintained post along Subansiri valley.
“The CDS said he was satisfied by the high morale and motivation of all ranks who will ensure certain victory if challenged or given the opportunity,” an Army official quoted Gen Rawat as saying.
“He complimented soldiers for adopting innovative measures for surveillance through locally developed technology and the defence preparedness to face any challenge,” he said.
Sources said Gen Rawat reviewed the overall preparedness of the armed forces in key forward bases and asked them to remain vigilant.
On Saturday, the Chief of Defence Staff carried out an aerial recce of certain areas and visited several air bases in forward areas.
His visit to assess the security scenario in the region came in the midst of the nearly eight-month-long military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
The Army and the Indian Air Force have been maintaining a high state of operational readiness along the nearly 3,500-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in view of the eastern Ladakh standoff.
Nearly 50,000 troops of the Indian Army are deployed in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the face-off that began in early May.
China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials.
The eighth and last round of military talks had taken place on November 6 during which both sides broadly discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.
Gen Rawat arrived in Dinjan air force station in Assam’s Chabua on Friday afternoon and travelled to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday on a two-day visit.
His visit to Arunachal Pradesh coincided with his completion of one year as India’s first CDS, a post which was created to bring in convergence in functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force in dealing with national security challenges.
A key mandate of the CDS was also to facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of theatre commands.
In the last one year, Gen Rawat along with the top brass of the three services carried out ground work to establish an air defence command and a Peninsula command initially. The IAF will helm the air defence command and all-long range missiles as well as air defence assets will come under it.
The CDS has been part of the top military brass framing strategies to enhance India’s military prowess in view of the eastern Ladakh standoff. PTI