Highlighting the extremely challenging conditions along the northern borders, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, on Thursday reiterated that the Indian Army was always prepared to meet any challenge and would spare no effort in ensuring a peaceful internal security situation and the integrity of our national borders.
The Northern Army Commander was speaking at the Northern Command Investiture Ceremony that was held at Mathura Military Station with military precision and detail. A total of 66 awardees were presented gallantry and distinguished service awards. These included 49 Sena Medals (Gallantry), one Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), one Yudh Seva Medal, four Sena Medals for Distinguished Service, 10 Vishisht Seva Medals and one Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal.
A total of 33 officers, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 29 Other Ranks were awarded and recognized for various acts of valour and distinguished service. One Sena Medal (Gallantry) was received on behalf of Rifleman Hussain Khan who is in coma after being injured in an operation by his father. The ceremony was witnessed by a large gathering of military and civil dignitaries as well as relatives of the awardees.
Lt. General Dwivedi said the areas of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under Northern Command are very important for India from the geographical and strategic point of view. The unique operational situation of Northern Command along our borders warrants undivided attention to operational preparedness in order to guard the LC/LAC/AGPL, while keeping the hinterland safe and thus Northern Command is “Always in Combat”.
The situation in UT of Jammu and Kashmir has been slowly moving towards normalcy. Efficient persistence in operational planning has resulted in real time tracking and neutralizing of 186 terrorists in high-risk operations in the year 2022. The highest standards of professionalism and jointness displayed by the troops in all dimensions of Counter Terror Operations has nullified the kinetic threat.
The situation along the LOC has remained stable and the Cease Fire Understanding continues to sustain. A very strict vigil and a robust technology enabled multi-tiered counter infiltration grid is being maintained, to thwart any attempts at infiltration. Ceasefire violations, infiltration bids or any other misadventure attempted by the adversary will be dealt with firmly, he warned.
“On the LAC in Ladakh we are ever-ready to respond to any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo. Progressive initiatives for tri-services and inter-agency cooperation to include ITBP and BSF and other CAPFs have borne desired results. Coordinated training, exercises and operational tasks are being undertaken by all stakeholders to streamline procedures and enhance our ability to robustly defend our borders. Measures to resolve the LAC situation at diplomatic and operational levels are also simultaneously underway. Any adverse aggressive designs or attempts will definitely be met with appropriate posturing of Forces and a strong intent.”
The Government has been extremely supportive in ensuring the availability of new generation weapon systems, equipment and special clothing to our troops, who are braving extreme weather and hostile conditions. The COAS driven ‘Transformation’ is being taken forward by Northern Command in the right earnest and we have accelerated the achievement of the goal of a “Self-Reliant India,” he said.
I wish to state that ‘Modernization through Indigenization’ is being undertaken by conducting Technology Symposiums and Seminars in keeping with our Chief’s vision whereby we are enabling ourselves to meet future challenges, the Northern Army Commander said.
Induction of indigenous modern weapons and equipment has increased our combat capability tremendously in terms of fire power, mobility, surveillance, and operational logistics. Several weapons and equipment have been inducted through ‘Hand Holding’ in the ‘Made-in-India’ sector like K9 VAJRA and DHANUSH artillery gun systems; surveillance resources such as RAJAK; Mini Altitude Mini RPAs, state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems: IPMV, QRFV and LCA Patrolling boats, he added.