Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, the Northern Army Commander, said on Friday that troops in Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh must be prepared and battle-hardened to face dynamic operational conditions and challenges, both along the borders and in the hinterland, and emerge victorious.
With its unique frontiers and varied terrain ranging from plains to super high altitude, as well as normal to extreme weather, the Northern Command exemplifies the concept of the ‘two and a half front,’ said General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Northern Command Lt Gen Dwivedi, speaking at the two-day ‘North Tech Symposium 2022’ being held in Udhampur after a two-year hiatus.
The “eyeball to eyeball” deployment, which stretches from the plains of Jammu to the Siachen Glacier and on to Eastern Ladakh, as well as the dynamic internal security situation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, make Northern Command the most unique theatre, he said, adding that the command has been “always in combat” since its inception.
He said the “valuable lessons of Op Snow Leopard have been fully assimilated and fused into our capacities with respect to swift mobilisation, appropriate force posturing, and infrastructure development in synergy with the other two services, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), and civil administration,” referring to India occupying strategic heights along the Line of Actual Control. However, given the dynamics displayed in terms of differing perceptions on the Line of Actual Control, he stressed that there is still more work to be done.
“As a result, we must always be prepared and battle-hardened to deal with dynamic operational scenarios and obstacles and emerge victorious,” he stated. “This necessitates adaptation of our forces to the ever-changing warfare environment as well as the adoption of creative solutions to surprise the adversary, achieve supremacy over him and constantly be a step ahead in cognitive, virtual and physical space,” he added.
He added the symposium’s topic of ‘Self Reliance in Defence through Atmanirbharta’ and the integration of new technology to solve Northern Command’s operational problems is very appropriate and “conveys our pressing demands of the day.”
The symposium aims to facilitate deeper engagements with the Indian private sector, defence public sector undertakings, research and development organisations, and academia, all of whom could be potential partners in the development, fabrication, and induction of technologically advanced systems to meet Northern Command’s operational needs.
It will pave the way for Northern Command to select appropriate technologies and goods for subsequent trials and inductions, as well as facilitate interface with the field army to focus their products toward specific operational requirements, he said. He also noted that it will allow all levels to improve their technology knowledge and threshold in order to execute effective and smooth operations.
He stated that the symposium’s main goal is to bridge the gap between customer demand for essential defence products/technologies and Indian OEMs’/vendors’ ability to provide that need through their products, resulting in faster purchase by Northern Command. Alternative alternatives are certainly welcome at this time, he noted.
“The solutions we seek for border guarding and internal security concerns will lead to operational convergence of CAPFs such as the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, and state police, co-employed within the Northern Command,” Gen Dwivedi said.
“Moreover, several initiatives implemented thus far, under the skilled tutelage of both J&K and Ladakh lieutenant governors, have been co-opted and merged by us in our attempts to build synergy,” he added.
The Indian Army is now working with the civil administration on programmes such as building “model communities” in Ladakh, reviewing the “Inner Line Permit,” and allowing adventurous activities in the Himalayan ranges, among others.