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Fri, 20 Sep 2019

Northeast Today

Mountain Strike Corps’ Himvijay drill in October

Mountain Strike Corps’ Himvijay drill in October
September 12
17:47 2019

NET Bureau

The Mountain Strike Corps raised recently to meet any threat from China in the east will carry out its first exercise with its Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in October.

The one-and-a-half-month-long drill named ‘HimVijay’ will see the Army assessing the operational efficiency of the Strike Corps to fight in inaccessible terrain and the IAF will provide support in terms of air lifting troops from neighbouring states.

The nod for the Mountain Strike Corps was given by the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS)in 2013 and the process of raising began thereafter with its headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal.  The first ever exercise of the Corps having about 40,000 troops will help the Army to evaluate its performance.  With the IBGs playing a crucial role in the drill, the Corps will later be restructured into small units to move swiftly in the mountains and fight modern day war.

The first IBG was raised in the north facing Pakistan and after successfully meeting all parameters during an exercise in the plains of Punjab,Jammu and Rajasthan in June, the unit will be functional by this month end and three others IBGs will be in place sometime later. Each IBG has about 5,000 soldiers and the main objective is to operate jointly in terms of the tanks, artillery and infantry instead of fighting in silos, sources said here on Wednesday.  The idea of having smaller and meaner IBGs is the brainchild of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.

The forthcoming exercise will see more than 15,000 troops of three IBGs, part of the Mountain Strike Corps, carrying out drills both offensive and defensive using artillery, tanks and infantry.  While tanks will play a limited role given the mountainous terrain, the evaluators will keenly watch the performance of the artillery and infantry.

Moreover, the IAF will provide support by airlifting troops from Assam and other parts in AN-32s, C-17s and C-130Js besides helicopters to simulate realistic battle scenario, officials said adding the IBGs are trained to be ready for operations within 24 hours.  The main objective of having such small units was to cut down the time in mobilization thereby losing the surprise element.

These composite units are likely to be headed by a Major General rank officer and will be equipped to perform offensive and defensive roles.  While the offensive action means making quick and effective thrust into the enemy territory stealthily, the defence role will see these units guarding its own territory in case of retaliatory action from across the border.

Each unit, both in defensive and offensive formations will have six battalions(one battalion has 1,000 men) trained to fight in a synergised manner.

Source: The Pioneer

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