Marginal increase in Chinese patrols in eastern Latin America and Caribbean sector: Army Commander
There has been a marginal increase in Chinese patrols in the eastern sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while the scale and duration of its drills have increased in their depth areas since the stalemate in the east of Ladakh last year, army commander Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande said Eastern Tuesday. He noted that India and China are trying to develop infrastructure near LAC.
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The military is countering the Chinese presence by incorporating technological advancements with particular emphasis on expanding surveillance capabilities like long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and radars, Lt. Gen. Pande said while stating that the Army’s 17th Mountain Strike Corps, destined for the border with China, had been fully operationalized.
Giving an overview of the situation along the LAC in the eastern sector during an interaction with a group of Delhi journalists, Lt. Gen. Pande said: “Some of the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] the reserve formations that have been mobilized remain in their training areas, that is to say still in operational depth. Both parties are trying to develop infrastructure closer to the LAC, which sometimes leads to some problems.
Since this infrastructure moved closer to the LAC, there has been a marginal increase in the number of border defense troops already deployed there, he pointed out.
Speaking of the measures taken, he observed that the first step was to strengthen monitoring both near the LAC and in the deep areas. This was done by synergizing resources ranging from satellites at the strategic level to ground troops and “we have adequate forces in each sector for any need that may arise”.
He pointed out, “In some areas, where our deployment was thin, we have reinforced our deployment, but for the most part, there has been no major troop increase along the LAC.”
They were also looking to maximize technology, especially in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, communications and similar capabilities, he reiterated.
Of the 3,488 km of LAC, 1,346 km fall in the eastern sector.
The creation of the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps began in 2014. It was now fully operational and all of its units, including combat, combat support and support, were fully equipped, the army commander claimed.
“His philosophy of employment is stabilized. Corps formations carried our validation and integrated training with other formations,” he said.
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To further improve operational efficiency, they were studying the Integrated Battle Group (IBG) model for the Mountain Strike Corps so that “we have better options for its employment and areas of application”, he said. points out. Over the years, the organization and structure of the mountain strike corps have evolved to meet operational needs.
IBGs are agile, self-contained, brigade-sized combat formations designed to quickly launch strikes against the adversary in the event of hostilities. The concept was tested in exercises and refined.
Lt. Gen. Pande disclosed that approval in principle for the establishment of the IBGs had been given and the modalities were being worked out.
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There had been a major push for infrastructure development in the region. The introduction of equipment such as the Chinook heavy lift helicopters, which enabled faster movement, and the deployment of the M777 ultra-light howitzers strengthened their position.
In addition, there is a major road expansion in the region which will facilitate faster mobilization of men, resources and materiel. Several tunnels are under construction while a railway line is also planned to Tawang.
India and China have established three hotlines for communication in the eastern sector between the armies to resolve any issues that arise. A fourth hotline was recently put into service.
The army had embarked on a series of emergency supplies for eastern Ladakh amid the standoff that began in May. Lt. Gen. Pande pointed out that several emergency purchases were also made under Eastern Command during this time.
Some of the priority areas were to improve mobility in terms of all-terrain vehicles where the infrastructure was not good, precision-guided munitions, better radio sets for communication, radars and night vision devices .
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On the strategic and vulnerable Siliguri Corridor, the narrow strip of land connecting the northeast to the rest of the country, Lt. Gen. Pande said it was very “sensitive”. Stating that there were challenges of radicalization and separatists, he said a joint coordination center was set up recently for the To Corridor with all relevant stakeholders.
Following the stalemate in eastern Ladakh which is still ongoing, the army and air force have increased deployments along the Line of Actual Control. Thousands of Indian and Chinese troops deployed since will spend a second winter in high altitude areas and the military has mostly completed forward winter storage to maintain those troops.
Also in the Eastern sector, Lt. Gen. Pande said they had largely completed winter storage and troop habitat had also been reinforced.