Displaying the mettle that they are renowned for, the Indian Army’s 8 Garhwal Battalion has bagged the gold medal in the Exercise “Cambrian Patrol” conducted in the United Kingdom. More than 140 teams from all over the world took part in the event from October 17-26.
“Cambrian Patrol” is an annual international military exercise that makes participating units cover an 80-km course in less than 48 hrs while performing numerous types of tasks throughout the rugged Cambrian Mountains and swamplands of mid-Wales in the UK.
The Patrol was first set up more than 40 years back by a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers who designed the training event to feature long-distance marching over the Cambrian Mountains culminating in firing. In 2006, the exercise was opened to foreign armies.
The aim is to test leadership, self-discipline, courage, physical endurance and determination. The competition consists of teams of eight men each patrolling across some of the most unforgiving terrain. The tests are over two days with neither sleep nor rest.
Some tests are firing, obstacle-crossing, first aid and casualty evacuation, recognition of aircraft vehicles and equipment, artillery target indication, patrol techniques, helicopter drills, ommunications skills, handling prisoners of war, tactical river/stream crossing, ambush/anti-ambush drills, recce techniques, tunnel-crossing, navigation skills and rock-climbing.
Several of the teams that enter do not finish, those that do, earn one of four distinctions — gold, silver, bronze or passing. The Indian Army team of 4/9 Gorkha Rifles (the Fourth Battalion of the Nine Gorkha Rifles Regiment) won the gold in 2010
INS TARASA BECOMES ‘PS CONSTANT’ OF SEYCHELLES’ COAST GUARD
In a ceremony that was both poignant and celebratory, INS Tarasa was formally transferred from the Indian Navy to the Seychelles Coast Guard on Friday , 07 Nov 14, to assume a new life as Patrol Ship Constant. Presided over by Mr. James
Alix Michel, the President of the Republic of Seychelles as also Commander–in-Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces and the nations’ Defence Minister, the ceremony was attended by a host of top ranking officers of the Seychelles government, including the Vice President of the nation, the Foreign Minister, the Home Minister, the Chief of the Defence Forces and Chief of the Seychelles Coast Guard.
The Indian side was represented by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, who flew in particularly for this event, His Excellency Mr. Sanjay Panda, High Commissioner of India to Seychelles and Rear Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. Three frontline ships of the Western Fleet were also present in the harbour to participate in this historic event
INS Tarasa (re-christened PS Constant) is the second fast Attack Craft to be gifted by the Government of India to Seychelles in the recent times, the previous being INS Tarmugli that was renamed PS Topaz. PS Constant and PS Topaz along with the Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft (also gifted by Government of India) are expected to operate together in the coming years, forming the core of the Seychelles Coast Guard’s ability to keep the EEZ of the nation safe and secure from burgeoning maritime threats.
LT GEN BK CHOPRA TAKES OVER AS DGAFMS
Lt Gen BK Chopra, Senior Colonel Commandant of Army Medical Corps assumed the appointment of Director General Armed Forces Medical Services on 01 November 2014. The General Officer took over the reins of the Armed Forces Medical Services from Air Marshal D P Joshi, who superannuated on 31 Oct 2014.
A graduate of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College Kanpur, he was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in 1977 . He did his post-graduation in Surgery and Orthopaedics. He has held various regimental, clinical and staff appointments during last 37 years in the armed forces. The General Officer has been appointed as President’s Honorary Surgeon by the President of India.
It is apprised that the picture captioned “Border troops on the India Bangladesh Border” published in December 2013– January 2014 issue of Salute Magazine was taken by Mr Shib Shankar Chatterjee, Photographer.
BEL AND BDL PRESENT DIVIDEND CHEQUES TO DEFENCE MINISTER
The Hyderabad based Defence Public Sector Undertaking, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) paid a final dividend of Rs. 11.10 Crore to the Government of India. Shri SN Mantha, CMD and Shri SV Subba Rao, Director (Finance), BDL presented the dividend cheque to the Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley.
The BDL has achieved a record sales turnover of Rs. 1780 Crore and Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 509 Crore during 2013-14. Earlier during February 2014, an interim dividend of Rs 58 Crore was paid. The total dividend for the year 2013-14 is Rs. 69.1029 Crore.
Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has also paid a total dividend of 233% to the Government of India for 2013-14. Mr S K Sharma, CMD, BEL, presented the 173% final dividend cheque of Rs. 103.82 crore to the Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley.
RESCUE AND DISASTER MANGEMENT BY IAF
On 01 Nov 2014, in a daring rescue, the IAF helicopters successfully evacuated a mother and her new born baby from a remote and inhospitable region of Ladakh. The request for mercy mission was received from DC Leh, to evacuate a Ladakhi woman in Phuang Phirste area. She was reported suffering due to obstructed delivery. Life of both, mother and child was in danger. In this remote region, without any road connectivity, at an elevation of 16200 feet, far away from civilisation; IAF helicopters were the only hope for the mother and her new born for their survival. Once again, the ‘Siachen Pioneers’, a premier helicopter unit of the IAF at Leh, rose to the occasion to save the precious lives.
On 07 November 2014 a massive and widespread forest fires had been devouring the pristine forests 30 Kms east of Visakhapatnam and causing widespread destruction to the flora and fauna. On request from the State Administration, four of the newly acquired IAF MI-17 V5 helicopters were pressed into action at Visakhapatnam using the Forest Fire Fighting Equipment, euphemistically called “The Bambi Bucket” having a capacity of 3500 ltrs of water each. The first sortie of the helicopter from Visakhapatnam was devoted in carrying out a detailed aerial assessment of the general area and the extent of the fire. Initially the fire seemed under control, however at 1330 hrs the wind speed increased and fire picked up.
A total of 1,00,000 ltrs of water was used to douse the fire and a total of 42 shuttles were carried out by these helicopters. The forest fire is now under control. It would be pertinent to note that helicopters are being utilised for fighting forest fires for the third time this year. In addition to being instrumental in containing a potentially catastrophic environmental disaster, presence of IAF helicopter is a veritable morale booster for the local populace. The IAF reaffirmed its commitment towards Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in support of the nation.