Chandigarh: On what could well be his farewell visit to the strategic Western Command headquarters based at Chandimandir, adjoining Chandigarh, Army Chief General VK Singh met up with a large number of one, two and three star generals of the command. Singh retires on May 31.
General VK Singh also awarded COAS Commendation to four officers of 103 Engineer Regiment for their exemplary courage and devotion to duty during relief and rescue operations to rescue trapped workers from the debris of a collapsed building at Jalandhar recently. A total of 62 workers were rescued alive by the regiment.
CNN-IBN had featured Col Simarjeet Singh of the 103 Engineer Regiment as one of the heroes of the Jalandhar rescue operation. You can see him in the videos below explaining the difficulties faced by the army and other rescue units and also a successful night time rescue operation in progress.
Getting down into the bowels of the factory that was, Col Simarjeet Singh, Commanding Officer of the 103 Engineer Regiment of the Jalandhar based Vajra Corps had been guiding his men nonstop through the operation with just brief pauses for rest. Under his command and constant watch, soldiers using cutters and other equipment carefully went into the dangerous crevices and crawl-ways of the collapsed factory, bringing out survivors and locating those who lost their lives.
Col Simarjeet Singh told CNN-IBN that there was mortal danger there because of the debris, hazardous chemicals and inflammable material inside the collapsed factory which could start a fire and so torch cutters could not be used.
At Chandimandir, Gen VK Singh was briefed by Lt Gen SR Ghosh, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Command on the operational preparedness of Western Command and on other training and administrative matters. The COAS addressed all officers of Headquarters Western Command including Senior Corps and Division Commanders. The COAS also interacted with Rajput Regiment officers and a large number of Senior Army Veterans.
The Western Command has three Corps level army formations headed by Lieutenant Generals. 2 Corps is headquartered at Ambala in Haryana, 9 Corps is headquartered at Yol Camp in Himachal Pradesh and 10 Corps is headquartered at Bathinda in Punjab.
Western Command is conducting a major exercise in the plains of Punjab during this month as a part of its operational preparedness. The battle manoeuvres being undertaken aim at validating Armys fighting concepts and the absorption of new technologies.
This exercise would be part of Army's systems approach to training which aims at transforming it into a modern, lean, agile and a well-equipped force, capable of accomplishing assigned tasks thus showcasing its rapid response capability.
The exercise will enter its peak phase in mid-May when elements of the Western Command will carry out the final phase of manoeuvres. This will encompass all the fighting arms of the Indian Army including soldiers, tanks, and mechanized vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Attack Helicopters and frontline Fighter Aircraft of the Indian Air Force During the exercise, units and formations will practice infusion of latest technology within the Army, thereby gearing it for network-centric operations.
The exercise will encompass extensive use of satellite imagery, air borne surveillance and a wide array of land and air based radars to "achieve battle field transparency". This will provide real time information of the battle front to the field commanders which will help in decision making during conflict.