1. VISIT OF AUSTRALIAN CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE TO INDIA
The Australian Chief of Defence Force General Angus J Campbell, called upon General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff and discussed issues of mutual concern, on the side lines of ‘Raisina Dialogue’. He also called on Lieutenant General Rajeshwar, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and discussed important aspects of mutual concern.
The Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral annual conference is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in association with Indian Think Tank—ORF.
2. RAKSHA MANTRI VISITS ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR COMMAND
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman paid a two day visit to Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) to review its operational readiness and witness a major joint exercise involving the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard conducted under the aegis of Andaman And Nicobar Command (ANC)—an Integrated Services Command. She was given a comprehensive briefing and update on thrust areas and achievements of the Command. She showed keen interest in the amphibious exercise demonstration near Campbell Bay, the southernmost island of India conducted by 10 warships, 6 aircraft and over 700 troops. Raksha Mantri also witnessed demonstration on jungle survival skills and inaugurated the phase-II of Married Accommodation Project that includes 868 dwelling units for the troops of ANC.
ANI straddles the strategic mouth of Malacca Straits—an important sea lane of communication in the Indian Ocean Region. This is her second visit to Port Blair. During her earlier visit in October 2017, she had celebrated Diwali with the troops.
3. RAKSHA MANTRI REVIEWS PROGRESS OF NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL
Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the progress of the National War Memorial (NWM) along with the Chairman Chief of Staff Committee and other senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces. It is heartening to see the progress being closely monitored ever since the work began. NWM will be the first memorial to honour all martyrs since Independence.
4. IAF TREKKING TEAM RESCUES ENGINEER IN LADAKH
Sagar, an engineer from Mumbai was rescued by an IAF trekking team in Ladakh from drowning when the ice under him broke and he was drowned into chilled water while returning from a trek. An IAF trekking team from Air Force Station Thoise, led by Wg Cdr Vikrant Uniyal which was on its way back after completing a trek which happened to be close by, rescued the engineer in time.
5. NEW SNIPER RIFLES FOR INDIAN ARMY
Indian Army is inducting new sniper rifles, replacing good old Russian 7.62 mm Dragonov through emergency purchase. These new sniper rifles will have an effective kill range of 1,500 to 1,800 metres and will be equipped with modern telescopic sights as against the lesser kill range of 800 metre and vintage design of Dragonov. However, procurement of the entire requirement of 5719 sniper rifles under “capital procurement” will take time.
6. INDIA - MYANMAR BILATERAL ARMY EXERCISE ‘IMBEX 2019’
IMBEX 2018-19, the second edition of six-day India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise began at the Western Command on January 14, 2019. 15 officers each from Myanmar and Indian Army are participating in the exercise. The exercise will focus on training the Myanmar officers on various aspects of UN Peace Keeping missions while operating under the UN flag who will then form the core group of instructors to further train their own troops in UN peace keeping operations.
7.SUCCESSFULL CONDUCT OF ‘SAHAYAK’ AIR DROPPABLE CONTAINERS BY INDIAN NAVY
Indian Navy has successfully conducted trials of ‘Sahayak’ Air Droppable Containers by IL-38 aircraft in the Arabian Sea. These containers will go a long way in boosting the Operational Logistics capability of the Indian Navy by supplying spares and stores to ships deployed well beyond 2000 Km from coast. ‘Sahayak’ would reduce the need for ships to come close to the coast for replenishment and increase the duration of deployment of ships.
8. Indian Army celebrated its 71st Army Day
Indian Army celebrated its 71st Army Day on January 15, 2019. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff reviewed the Army Day Parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi and awarded fifteen Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for individual acts of Gallantry and seventeen COAS Unit Citations for commendable performance of their respective units. Earlier in the day, wreaths were laid at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate by the three Service Chiefs to commemorate the Army Day. President Ram Nath Kovind in his message said, “Citizens sleep securely knowing you are ever awake and ever vigilant.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also saluted the brave soldiers.
9. INDIA-US TALK ON COOPERATION ON DEFENCE AND FOREIGN POLICY
The inaugural round of India-US 2+2 inter-sessional meeting was held in New Delhi on January 11, 2019. The Indian delegation consisted of the Joint Secretaries of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Defence while the US side was headed jointly by Ambassador Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defence. The two sides discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation on defence and foreign policy issues and exchanged views on regional developments in the Indo-Pacific Region. This meeting is a follow up on the decisions taken during the India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue of September 2018. n