On September 25, Lt Gen Zhu Fuzi, Political Commissar, Chengdu Military Area Command, was received at Headquarters Eastern Command, Kolkata, along with a seven-member People’s Liberation Army delegation on a two-day visit. This, even as Chinese troops were ensconced in our territory in the Chumar area of Ladakh. Now the fourth edition of the joint exercise “Hand in Hand” is to be held in Pune (shifted from Bathinda) in mid-November. The question arises— is it business as usual in other areas while Chinese troops intrude into our land with seeming impunity? Such contrived compartmentalisation might just confuse and demoralise our own armed forces.
Nirbhay cruise missile tested
On Friday, the DRDO successfully tested the Nirbhay long-range cruise missile at the Gopalpur coastal range in Odisha. The missile with a range of 1,000 km has the unique capability to loiter, i.e. it can fly around a target till the opportune time. It can also precisely discern its intended target from a group of similar ones. Propelled by a turbofan engine, the Nirbhay can attain a speed of 0.8 Mach (980 km/h) flying at a low altitude radar-avoiding trajectory. With the capability to carry a nuclear warhead, the missile is guided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). During the test, all parameters were met, the missile completing all 15 way-points and hitting the target with accuracy.
Raising of 25th Grenadiers
With the raising of its 25th Battalion, the Grenadiers, India’s intrepid regiment is now the largest in the Army. The regiment comprises twenty-two regular, four Rashtriya Rifles and two Territorial Army battalions. Currently undergoing raising at the regimental centre at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, the battalion has been named ‘Parakrami Pachees’ (Heroic Twenty-Fifth). To Colonel Vipul Singh Rajput goes the distinction of being its first commanding officer. The Grenadiers have traditionally recruited mainly from Rajasthan and Haryana but also from J&K, Himachal, Punjab, UP, MP and Gujarat. At least one battalion (the 24th) has been raised with an all-India all-class composition. 25th Grenadiers’ class composition is not known to me at the moment. Wishing the battalion all the best!
OTA passing-out parade
204 gentlemen cadets and 42 lady cadets passed out into an officer’s life at the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, on September 13. The academy (earlier school) trains cadets for short-service commissions. It was set up in January 1963 to train the large number of emergency commissioned officers required for expansion of the army in the wake of the 1962 war.
Over the years its alumni have excelled themselves many staying on in the army and rising to high rank. Others have done well in civvy-street, many joining the civil service and police. Most of all, its graduates have never hesitated to shed their blood for the nation. Over 200 of its alumni have made the supreme sacrifice.
Moti Mahal at Poonchh
Moti Mahal at Poonchh in J&K built from 1926-36 by the Rajas of Poonchh serves as the officers’ mess for HQ-93 Infantry Brigade. Badly damaged in the 2005 earthquake, it was restored to its former glory later. Recently, the historic palace was extensively refurbished by the Military Engineering Services (MES) under the aegis of Garrison Engineer, 881 Engineer Works Section. The army believes and rightly so that only fools make themselves uncomfortable!
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