Army Chief General MM Naravane speaking to ANI on Tuesday. Photo/ANI
Army Chief General MM Naravane speaking to ANI on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

'Exercise Him Vijay' was very successful; Mountain Strike Corps ready: Army Chief

ANI | Updated: Dec 31, 2019 21:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 31 (ANI): Army Chief General MM Naravane on Tuesday said the 'Exercise-Him Vijay' conducted in Arunachal Pradesh a few months ago has been very successful and the 17 mountain strike Corps is ready to take on any of the task envisaged for it in the mountains.
17 Mountain Strike Corps has been raised by the Indian Army to carry out strike operations in enemy territory during wars with the neighbours in northern and eastern parts of the country.
Responding to a question about the 'Exercise Him Vijay' and 17 Strike Corps during an exclusive interview with ANI, the Army Chief said, "The strike Corps was raised almost five years ago...and although individual components of the corps had been exercising from time to time, the corps as such had never carried out a comprehensive exercise. Connected to that is the new model that we are proposing of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs)."
"So since the 17 Corps is a new corps, we thought it is a good test-bed to not only exercise the corps but also to try the concept of IBGs. Accordingly, the Corps has exercised in this fashion," he added.
Stressing that a detailed after exercise report is awaited, the Army Chief said, "By all accounts, the exercise has been very successful. We are waiting for the detailed after exercise-report. There are certain suggestions in that which we will definitely take into account and incorporate it while finalising what the mountain strike corps should look like. But as of now, post this exercise, I would say the strike corps is ready to take on any of the task envisaged for it in the mountains."
Talking about the Integrated Battle Groups, he said, "IBG seeks to merge the brigade and divisional level components so that the IBG then would report directly to the Corps. With advancements in the technology and various other improvements which have taken place, it is definitely possible for a Corps to exercise command and control over a greater number of units and sub-units. So as a concept, this is very much workable. It has been tried out in phases. It is not something which has been done immediately."
"We did it first just as a paper exercise, then we tried it out in our tactical exercises without troops, and then we have tried it out in our exercise with troops. In a graduated manner, we have been able to refine this very whole process," he added.
However, General Naravan added that the progress towards 'IBGisation' will not happen overnight.
"The entire process of converting from the existing model to the IBG model, even for a single Corps will take anything upto two years and within those two years, automatically the various issues, wrinkles, and finetuning will keep happening. So nobody need to think that there will be sudden void or a sudden change or a sudden lessening of our operational preparedness," he said.
Expressing happiness over the creation of post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Army Chief said, "We are very happy with the creation of the post of CDS as also of the appointment of General Rawat as the first CDS and I convey my good wishes to him. The appointment of CDS is not something which has not happened overnight. The proposal to create such a post has been in the pipeline for more than two decades and it was and is the need of the hours."
"And through this position and office of CDS, it will definitely bring about greater interaction and synergy between three services," he said. (ANI)