Allow me to share the following with you, with respect to the trip of Mrs Indira Gandhi to the Andaman Islands when she was the Prime Minister. That impromptu trip was triggered by the growing realisation of A&N Islands as our strategic assets.Under normal circumstances, the trip may/may not have occurred when it did, but the tipping point was the unregulated loot of corals by foreign commercial entities.
Our coral wealth was saved but in the last two years it has raised its ugly head once again; we were not prudent in integrating safeguards in opening the area to tourism. It led to kick starting the creation of IAF air strip near Port Blair, a deep sea harbour for our Naval vessels at Nancowry Island and even more significant, another IAF air strip on the Greater Nicobar Island at Point Pygmalion (later named Indira Point). This last asset came about as a result of a paper written and presented by Lt Gen. JFR Jacob (I was present in the MO Ops Room) which he followed up by endorsing a copy to the PM.
There is much that I learnt from the article (Politicisation of the Armed Forces). I was reminded of an exchange between the RM (Shri Bansi Lal) and General Raina. The RM was the Chief Guest at the concluding day of the Army Horse Show. Perhaps carried away by his new status, the RM became ebullient and addressed the Chief as “Tappy”. General Raina with his typical no nonsense attitude, retorted “Mr Raksha Mantri, you may call me Chief or General Raina but never again Tappy”! This was in my full hearing.
—Lieutenant General (Retd) Baljit Singh
I am a regular subscriber to “Salute”. It is very informative. This is with reference to the article “The Balakot Kill Conundrum” by Iqbal Chand Malhotra, which appeared in SALUTE Jan-Feb 2019 Volume 11 Issue 5, which is quite informative about “possible scenario” of the state of art technology in SAR, heat signature and use of GEO and LEO satellites during the Balakot operation.However, I feel, some of the activities would have been handled in a much simpler fashion. The real time, command and response dialogue between the TecSAR and RISAT-2, in (a) target designation by image correlation between the observed SAR and apriori known picture of the target, (b) heat signature analysis of likely human beings etc, as an automated operation between the two unmanned GEO and LEO satellites is too complex an operation. By prior arrangement with Israel, at the planned date and time, the TecSAR would have sent the specified area image with GPS (WGS 84) coordinate system, possibly with IR information also. The Indian LEO RISAT-2 would have been used as a communication relay of sending the picture with accurate GPS (WGS 84) coordinates and whatever IR heat response was possible from the TecSAR to the Phalcon AWACS controlling the air operations. The mission controller who has been given apriori, likely picture of the target dormitories of the camp, would have identified the target from the map received from TecSAR via RISAT-2 and passed on the accurate target GPS coordinates to the pilot of the Mirage aircraft. The pilot would have in turn loaded the target position to Spice 2 missile or the Delilah cruise missile, before launching from the aircraft. It is too much to expect the involvement of US Space Command Center and USAF in this operation, as reported in this article.
—Air Vice Marshal P. Govindarajan
In their desperation to prove that Rafale deal was a scam, Rahul Gandhi even pretended to visit ailing Manohar Parrikar as a courtesy visit. That “courtesy visit” was later turned into a ploy to attack the Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi used a visit made to an ailing Chief Minister to claim that Manohar Parrikar had himself told Rahul Gandhi that he had some files on the Rafale deal and that there was a scam in the deal. Parrikar, suffering from cancer, had to come out and issue a statement calling out Rahul Gandhi’s lies. In fact, even after Manohar Parrikar lost the battle to cancer, even in death, Rahul Gandhi lied in Manohar Parrikar’s name. Your editorial, Why the Lack of Faith, published in SALUTE Vol 11 Issue 6, refers
This refers to your editorial: Why the Lack of Faith, in SALUTE Vol 11 Issue 6. By and large public stands in solidarity with the Armed forces. Opposition parties seem to be out of sync with the public mood.
—Col Yashbir Singh
This refers to the Battle Account, Battle of Lagyala Gompa, published in SALUTE Vol 11, Issue 6. The debacle of 4 Infantry Div needs to be studied in greater details. Individuals behave differently at different span of life and consequently a division commanded by a decorated soldier and having many other decorated soldiers withered away without a fight.
—Capt (IN) Alok Bansal