Arunachal Pradesh : Walong-Kibithu Road, Military Station Named After India’s First CDS – Gen Bipin Rawat 

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast

 

  • NET Web Desk

A military station on the banks of Arunachal’s Lohit Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC); and a key road in this mountain hamlet on Saturday, have been named after India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) – Gen Bipin Rawat, who died in a helicopter crash.

In his capacity as a young Colonel, Rawat had commanded his Battalion 5/11 Gorkha Rifles at Kibithu from 1999-2000 and made significant contributions towards strengthening the security framework of the region.

The Kibithu military camp and the 22 km-long road stretch from Walong to Kibithu were named after Gen Rawat at a ceremony attended by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (retd) B D Mishra, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita and Gen Rawat’s daughters Kritika and Tarini. Several senior military officials also attended the event.

This camp was renamed as Gen Bipin Rawat Military Garrison wherein a grand gate constructed in accordance with the region’s traditional architectural style was inaugurated by the Governor. Meanwhile, the 22-km road stretch connecting Walong and Kibithu was named as Gen Bipin Rawat Marg.

A majestic life size mural of the Gen Rawat was also unveiled.

Taking to Twitter, the Arunachal CM – Pema Khandu wrote “Honoured to have joined Ms Tarini ji, who unveiled a life size mural of Gen Bipin Rawat at Kibithu in Anjaw District. Immensely pleased to felicitate Ms Tarini ji on the occasion.”

Kibithu – a small hamlet located on the banks of the Lohit Valley, is significant from the military standpoint.

Its worthy to note that on December 8, 2021; the horrific crash of Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Mi-17V5 helicopter left the entire nation teary-eyed, as India lost its first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife – President of Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) Madhulika Rawat, along with 11 other bravehearts. While, Group Captain Varun Singh passed away on January 15, after sustaining over 80 per cent burn injuries.

Besides, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat will be conferred posthumously with the Padma Vibhushan – country’s second-highest civilian award.

An alumnus of St Edward School, Shimla, and the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, the CDS was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978, from Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun, where he was conferred with the ‘Sword of Honour’.

With experiences in high altitude warfare, and counter-insurgency operations, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat commanded an Infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, a Corps in the Eastern theatre and the Southern Command. He also tenanted instructional appointments at IMA Dehradun and at Army War College, Mhow.

During the span of over 40 years of his service, Rawat was awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.

On December 17, 2016, Rawat took over the reins of the Indian Army from General Dalbir Singh Suhag, as the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Later, on December 31, 2019, he went on to become India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This position was set-up with an aim to integrate the three defence services – The Army, The Navy & The Air Force. Known for theaterization of the Indian Armed Forces, Rawat was tasked with taking the 17 single-service commands & combining them into just four geographical commands, each with elements from all three services.

As per Rawat’s plan, the theaterization model sought to set up four new integrated commands – two land-centric theatres, an air defence command, and a maritime theatre command for best utilization of military’s resources for future wars and operations. He also introduced modernization of the troops of the Armed Forces, by bringing-in a new approach of procuring major military platforms.

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