1. COASTAL SECURITY EXERCISE ACROSS ENTIRE INDIAN COAST CONDUCTED
The Indian Navy, in coordination with various other agencies conducted the largest ever coastal security Exercise ‘SEA VIGIL’ along the entire length of 7,516 km coastline and EEZ of India, to validate the efficacy of various measures taken since ‘26/11’. Even though smaller exercises involving individual states or those combined with adjacent states are being conducted on a biannual basis, such a national-level exercise is perhaps the first of its kind which provided a realistic assessment of our overall capability - strengths and weakness towards further strengthening Indian maritime security.
2. GOVT SANCTIONS 12 ADDITIONAL DORNIER AIRCRAFT FOR MARITIME SURVEILLANCE
Government has sanctioned three new Naval Air Squadrons to be setup in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu along with 12 Dornier aircraft and associated manpower. The contract for procurement of these Dornier aircraft was signed with HAL (Kanpur Division) on 29 December 2016 with delivery commencing in January 2019. These new Dornier - 228 aircraft will be fitted with improved ‘state of the art’ sensors, equipment and networking features that would further strengthen the coastal security of our vast coastline.
Maj Gen (Retd) Ian Cardozo with his wife
3. DIFFO BRIDGE IN ARUNACHAL
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, inaugurated the 426.60 metre long bridge over Diffo river on Roing-Koron-Paya road in Arunachal Pradesh. She appreciated the completion of this prestigious bridge by the Border Road Organisation in tough working conditions in inhospitable terrain. The bridge would not only enhance the operational capability of the armed forces by providing uninterrupted access between Dibang and Lohit valley but would also bring in economic prosperity in the region.
4. WAR- DISABLED ARMY MEN PARTICIPATE IN 2019 MUMBAI MARATHON
Lead by Lieutenant General (Retd) Vijay Oberoi, who had lost his right leg in the 1965 Indo-Pak war and still rose to become the Vice Chief of Army Staff, 16 war-disabled armed forces personnel participated in the 2019 Mumbai Marathon. 81-year old Major General Ian Cardozo, a 1971 war veteran who had cut off his own wounded leg with a khukri without any morphine, after stepping on a landmine also participated in the marathon. There are over 10,000 war disabled army men in India. Conduct of such events brings awareness amongst the citizen about the sacrifices made by these gallant soldiers in securing our nation.
5. PM INAUGURATES ARMOURED SYSTEMS COMPLEX OF L&T IN GUJARAT
PM Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gujrat Armoured Systems Complex of L&T where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured. L&T was awarded the contract to supply 100 such units to the Indian Army under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in 2017. After the inauguration, the PM in his tweet said, “Boosting ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector is our endeavour. I am glad that the private sector too is supporting this pursuit and making a valuable contribution”.
6. LIGHT COMBAT HELICOPTER (LCH) SUCCESSFULLY TEST FIRES AIR TO AIR MISSILE
As per reports, HAL has successfully carried out ‘all weapon integration tests’ for its LCH through successful test firing of air to air missile. LCH is capable of carrying other weapons such as 20 mm turret gun and 70 mm rockets. As on date, HAL has confirmed orders for 10 LCH for IAF and five for the Army. However, LCH still has to overcome hurdles of reliable production and maintenance support before it becomes viable equipment for delivery.
7. INDIA AFRICA FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE (IAFTX) – 2019
The final planning conference to work out the modalities for IAFTX–2019 was conducted at Pune on 23-24 January 2019. Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger & Zambia attended the conference. The exercise is scheduled to be conducted in Pune from March 18 to March 27, 2019 and aims at synergising joint peace operations.
8. TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT OF IAF LAND AT TEZU AND PAKYONG
PRO, IAF has intimated that the IAF carried out day and night landings of its two Dornier and one Avro aircraft in coordination with C-130 and AN-32 aircraft at the Tezu ALG in Arunachal Pradesh on January 14, 2019 and validated its Casualty Evacuation and Disaster Management capabilities. This validation will also boost the mobility of troops and material in the region. In addition, an AN-32 aircraft also carried out landing at Pakyong airfield in Sikkim on January 16, 2019. This is the first landing by an AN-32 class of aircraft at this airfield, recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
9. WOMEN TO BE RECRUITED IN MILITARY POLICE CORP
As per an MoD tweet, Government has taken a decision to induct women in the military police as Personnel Below Officer Rank and enhance the representation of women in the armed forces. It is reported that the army would induct about 800 women in military police with a yearly intake of 52 women. Currently, women are allowed in a few select branches such as medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering branches of the Army. n