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Remembering Field Marshal Manekshaw on 12th death anniversary

Ashish Singh

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Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

A wreath laying ceremony was organised by Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, on 27 June 2020 at Parsi Zoroastrian Cemetery, Udhagamandalam, to commemorate the 12th death anniversary of Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw. On behalf of the Tri-Services fraternity, Lt Gen Y.V.K. Mohan, Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington laid a wreath at the final resting place of the revered soldier amidst presence of local Parsi community.

Field Marshal Manekshaw was born on 3 April 1914 at Amritsar. He had an illustrious military career spanning over four decades. As a young Captain in WW-II, he saw action in Burma and was severely wounded. He was awarded Military Cross in 1942 for the conspicuous gallantry displayed in the face of enemy. During 1946- 47 Field Marshal Manekshaw was posted in Military Operations Directorate and oversaw the planning and administration of various issues related to partition and subsequently military operations in Jammu and Kashmir. As Corps Commander during the 1962 operations, he demonstrated distinguished leadership and positively impacted the conduct of operations. He was also the Commandant of Infantry School, Mhow and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1968.

Field Marshal Manekshaw took over as Chief of Army Staff on 8 January 1969. He successfully crafted India’s greatest military triumph by leading Indian Army into 1971 Operations which resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh within a short duration of 13 days. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972. In recognition of the outstanding contribution made by the General Officer to the armed forces and the nation, he was elevated to the rank of Field Marshal on 15 January 1973. He breathed his last on 27 June 2008.

 Field Marshal Manekshaw had settled down at Wellington after active service. His association with the station goes back to the time when he was Commandant of Defence Services Staff College. He shared a special bond with the Nilgiris and was equally endearing to the local population. In remembrance of the close association of Field Marshal Manekshaw with the populace, assistance was provided by Defence Services Staff College to the needy by distribution of essential items through local NGOs. A man with unflinching moral courage and exemplary leadership qualities, his life would always remain a source of inspiration to the armed forces and the Nation.

A wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 12th death anniversary of the Field Marshal

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Defence

INS AIRAVAT REACHES JAKARTA WITH COVID RELIEF SUPPLIES FOR INDONESIA

Ashish Singh

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Indian Naval Ship Airavat arrived at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia, carrying essential COVID-19 relief supplies. The ship has brought five Cryogenic containers containing 100 MT of Liquid Oxygen and 300 Concentrates to support Indonesia in its fight against the ongoing pandemic.

INS Airavat is a Landing Ship Tank (Large) type of ship with a primary role to carry out amphibious operations and is capable of carrying multiple tanks, amphibious vehicles and other military cargo. The ship is also deployed for HADR relief operations and has been a part of various relief efforts across the Indian Ocean Region. India and Indonesia enjoy close cultural and commercial ties. Both countries have been working together in the maritime domain towards a safer Indo-Pacific. The navies regularly carry out joint naval exercises in the form of bilateral exercises and coordinated patrols.

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Defence

22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATIONS COMMENCE AT DRAS SECTOR IN KASHMIR

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The celebrations of 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas commenced at Kargil War Memorial, Dras on Sunday. Early in the morning, a special event narrating the stories of Operation VIJAY was organized by the Army at Lamochen near Dras where an account of the epic battles on Tololing, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875 and other prominent features was narrated with these very landmarks visible to the audience in front of their eyes. A number of military personnel including the gallantry award winners and families of Kargil War heroes attended the event. The narration took everyone down the memory lane showcasing the daring feat achieved by the valiant soldiers of Indian Army.

Later in the day, the venue of the celebrations shifted to the Kargil War Memorial. A Fusion Military Band put up a display which was followed by a solemn ‘Beating the Retreat’ Ceremony and a Memorial Service, where the attendees paid silent tribute to the fallen heroes. At the memorial, 559 Lamps were also lit, which were a symbolic reminder of lives sacrificed by 559 bravehearts for the Nation. The last event of the day was, ‘A Twilight with Brave Hearts’, with the soldiers at Polo Ground, Dras. In a special tribute to the heroes of Kargil War, musician Aman Chandra enthralled the audience with his musical performance during the eve. Later in the evening, a performance by the Fusion Band of Indian Army along with their lighted pipers was planned as a humble tribute to the valour of our brave soldiers. The trailer of Captain Vikram Batra’s biopic, ‘Shershah’ by Dharma Productions was also released and ‘Maa Teri Kasam’, a soulful and emotive song, conceptualised by Northern Command was screened.

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Defence

COAST GUARD CARRIES OUT RESCUE AND RELIEF OPERATIONS AMID HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODS

Ashish Singh

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Heavy rainfall over past week has triggered devastating floods in various districts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka and many areas are still waterlogged. Indian Coast Guard was one of the first responders towards providing aid to the general populace at the request of civil authorities which is also one of the charter of duties of ICG, by promptly despatching Disaster Relief Teams (DRT) with inflatable Gemini boat and life saving gears to the affected areas.

ICG DRTs reached areas rendered unapproachable due to water inundation especially in Chiplun & Mahad districts of Maharashtra and Umlijoog, Khargejoog, Bodjug Island and kinnar village in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka and with dedicated efforts evacuated the stranded persons to safety and provided required relief material. At Goa, Coast Guard aircraft have undertaken aerial assessment of Ganjem Dam, Usgaon and Codli areas. Coast Guard helicopter has air dropped approximately 100 kgs of relief materials including food packets and drinking water for the stranded people. ICG efforts have translated in saving of 215 precious lives under the current rescue operation till today across these three states. The services of Coast Guard air station at Ratnagiri are also being extended to IN and IAF aircrafts for airlifting of NDRF teams, relief material and facilitating rescue operations across the affected regions. In addition to the already deployed teams, the Coast Guard DRTs as well as ships & aircraft are standby at high readiness for immediate mobilization for exigencies, if any and a close coordination with local administration is being maintained.

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Defence

FLOOD RELIEF OPERATIONS BY THREE SERVICES IN MAHARASHTRA, KARNATAKA AND GOA

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The three Services have joined hands with the civil administration and national as well as the State Disaster Management authorities in relief and rescue operations in flood-affected areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. Working in close coordination with the administrations of worst-hit Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Sangli districts of Maharashtra, the Indian Army has deployed Task Forces, comprising Infantry, engineers, communication, recovery and medical teams in the affected areas. The teams conducted rescue and relief operations and saved precious lives in Chiplun, Shirol, Hatkangle, Palus and Miraj areas.

In Karnataka, the Indian Navy mobilised seven well-equipped flood relief teams along with Naval divers, rubber ‘Gemini’ boats, life jackets and medical equipment for flood relief operations. The teams evacuated 165 people from Singudda and Bhaire villages near Kadra Dam, while 70 people were evacuated from low lying areas of Kaiga. Naval Seaking, Advanced Light Helicopters & Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopters conducted multiple sorties and rescued people marooned due to sudden and sharp rise in the water levels. They also conducted aerial survey of the affected areas to enable senior officials to assess the situation and plan rescue and relief operations.

Around 400 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were airlifted by Indian Air Force aircraft from Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata and Vadodara to Pune, Kolhapur & Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Goa along with 40 tons of rescue equipment. The teams of the three Services are working round the clock to rescue the locals affected by floods, besides providing them with food, water, medical. More rescue teams and aircraft are on standby for deployment.

INDIAN ARMY INTENSIFIES FLOOD RELIEF OPERATIONS IN MAHARASHTRA

With the unprecedented rains and resultant overflowing of various rivers, a number of areas in Ratnagiri, Kohlapur, Sangli and other districts of Maharashtra have been inundated. On request of civil administration, Southern Command has mobilised flood relief and rescue teams to assist the locals in flood affected areas. A total of 15 flood relief teams from Aundh Military Station and Bombay Engineering Group, Pune have been deployed for flood relief and rescue operations in Sangli, Palus, Burli and Chiplun. The columns are involved in rescue of local villagers stranded in submerged areas and in restoring normalcy in these inundated areas. Over 100 persons have been rescued from the affected areas to safe locations.

The Indian Army is also providing cooked meals and drinking water in tankers to the villagers. Medical camps have also been established wherein medical teams of Army Doctors and Nursing Assistants have been deployed for providing necessary first aid and medicines to locals being evacuated from flood affected areas. The Army also with its deployed engineering efforts cleared the main route at Posare Budruk village of Ratnagiri district which was blocked due to landslide. The Army has established a Flood Relief Operation War Room at the Pune based Headquarters Southern Command to monitor the ongoing situation. Additional 10 flood relief teams have been put on alert for any contingency.

INDIAN NAVY MOBILISES RESCUE TEAMS FOR FLOOD RELIEF AND EVACUATION

With large parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa reeling under extensive flooding of both urban and rural areas caused by incessant rains and consequent overflowing of riverbanks and dams over the last few days, the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy has mobilised considerable resources to provide assistance to State and District administrations of affected areas.

Maharashtra: Based on request received for assistance from civil authorities, a total of seven Naval Flood Rescue Teams (FRT) from Mumbai have been deployed to Ratnagiri and Raigarh districts. One Seaking 42C Helicopter from, Mumbai was deployed for aerial reconnaissance at Poladpur/Raigad. One ALH helicopter from Goa was positioned at Ratnagiri for relief/rescue, additional Flood Rescue Teams are being maintained on a high degree of readiness at Mumbai, for immediate deployment.

Karnataka: At Karwar, Indian Naval Emergency Response Team (ERT) comprising 17 Divers, five Geminis, associated equipment such as Life Jackets and Life Buoys was deployed in the morning hours on Friday in response to a request for assistance from the District Collector, Uttara Kannada. District to rescue people stranded near Kadra Dam, Mallapur Kurnipet, Kaiga due to heavy rains / floods. The team was able to successfully evacuate over 100 stranded people at Singudda and Bhaire villages whilst rescue efforts are being continued at Kaiga and Mallapur. The rescued personnel were shifted to safe locations in coordination with the district administration. In an another swift Search and Rescue mission undertaken at Dongri in Gangavalli river belt, eight personnel stranded in two hotels were air lifted by Naval Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), when local attempts for rescue were unsuccessful. The Naval ALH was launched from Goa and successfully completed rescue of the stranded people in over two hours.

Goa: In addition to providing aerial support to Karwar rescue efforts, A sortie was made to Ganjem near Ponda to check and verify the receding water levels. Another ALH has been deployed at flood affected Ratnagiri to undertake search and rescue missions.

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Defence

INDIAN NAVY EXERCISES WITH ROYAL NAVY CARRIER STRIKE GROUP

Ashish Singh

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Indian Navy participated in a three-day bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG)-21 led by HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Bay of Bengal from 21st to 23rd July. The bilateral Maritime Exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain. The maiden exercise between Indian Navy and the Royal Navy’s latest Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth included participation of CSG-21 comprising Type 23 Frigates and an Astute-class submarine in addition to the other surface combatants. Indian Navy was represented by IN Ships Satpura, Ranvir, Jyoti, Kavaratti, Kulish and a submarine. Anti-Submarine Warfare capable Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft P8I also participated in the exercise.

With the presence of the CSG-21 in the Indian Ocean, the ongoing exercise has afforded excellent opportunity to engage over the entire spectrum of maritime operations including ASW, Anti-Air and Anti-Surface warfare. The exercise also witnessed the maiden participation of the F 35 B Lightning which operate from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth. Regular IN-RN interactions over the years have augmented their professional content, interoperability and adaptability in the ever-changing security scenarios. The inter-operability achieved over the years has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges which is being further enhanced by the presence of the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean.

Both the UK and India are in the midst of a carrier renaissance, with the CSG spearheading the UK’s Joint Expeditionary capability. The joint endeavour provides tangible security to friends and a credible deterrence to those who seek to undermine global security. An Indian warship will also exercise with the Royal Navy off the coast of the UK in August. First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said, “This is a month that will see the Royal Navy and Indian Navy meet and work together in two oceans – beginning in the Indian Ocean as the UK Carrier Strike Group arrives for the first of multiple UK-India exercises and events. Later this summer, both will participate in a separate exercise in the Atlantic Ocean. The deployment is proof of the strength, energy and significance of the growing relationship between our navies.”Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said, “The UK and India are key defence partners and the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment is a symbol of Global Britain in action, showcasing our commitment to India, the Indo-Pacific region, and confronting threats to international order.”Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, mentioned, “As HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group cross the Indian Ocean, it is only natural that we should exercise with the Indian Navy. At the strategic level, the exercise is a muscular expression of the closer defence partnership that Prime Ministers Johnson and Modi envisaged when they agreed the UK-India Roadmap 2030 earlier this year.”

As part of its maiden operational deployment, the CSG will sail over 26,000 nautical miles, engaging with 40 countries from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and back again. The fifth generation HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, at 65,000 tonnes, is the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK. Taller than Niagara Falls, her propellers generate the power of 50 high-speed trains. She leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation. It is equipped with the fifth generation F-35B Lightning multi-role aircrafts. They are being jointly crewed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the US Marine Corps. From defending democratic values and tackling shared threats, to seizing new trade opportunities through engagements with Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India and others, the deployment marks a step-change in UK engagement in the region. The UK is already investing significantly in the region by seeking ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, kicking off negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and rapidly progressing trade talks with Australia, New Zealand and India.

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DRDO CONDUCTS SECOND SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT TEST OF AKASH-NG IN THREE DAYS

Ashish Singh

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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight-test of New Generation Akash (Akash-NG), a surface-to-air missile from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha at 1145 hrs on Friday. The test was carried out against a high-speed unmanned aerial target which was successfully intercepted by the missile. The flight test has validated the functioning of complete weapon system consisting of the missile with indigenously developed RF Seeker, Launcher, Multi-Function Radar and Command, Control & Communication system. The test was carried out amidst inclement weather conditions proving the all-weather capability of the weapon system. The system performance was validated through the data captured by a number of Radar, Telemetry and Electro Optical Tracking systems deployed by ITR, Chandipur. A team of Indian Air Force Officers witnessed the test.

First test on Wednesday was done successfully without seeker meeting all the mission requirements

DRDO successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday. The flight trial was conducted at around 12:45 pm from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control & Communication System and launcher participating in deployment configuration. The missile system has been developed by Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories. The launch was witnessed by the representatives of Indian Air Force. In order to capture flight data, ITR deployed a number of Range stations like, Electro Optical Tracking System, Radar and Telemetry. The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats. Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force. Production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) also participated in the trials.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, Indian Air Force and the Industry on the second successful flight test of Akash-NG in a span of three days. He said the development of this state-of-the-art missile system will prove to be a force multiplier for air defence capabilities of Indian Air Force. Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated the teams for successful trial of Akash NG which is capable of intercepting high speed and agile aerial threats.

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