Monday, April 24, 2017

Army Commanders Conference Concludes: Army Chief stresses on need to Push modernisation&inclusive HR Policies

Army Commanders Conference Concludes: Army Chief stresses on need to Push modernisation and inclusive HR Policies

Army Commander Conference came to an end on 22 April 17 with the closing remarks of General Bipin Rawat. The Biannual Army Commanders’ Conference had commenced on 17 April 2017.

During his closing address the Chief of Army Staff impressed upon the need to work in a collaborative manner for maintaining combat effectiveness of the Army. He expressed his confidence at the way the Army has been adapting itself to the dynamic internal and external operational environment. He added that there is a need for sustained and holistic modernisation of the Army wherein combat and manoeuvre arms, Air Defence and Aviation are on high priority.

It has been decided to give heft to the modernization plan of the Army. A comprehensive plan to speed up land acquisition for infrastructure development has been decided to be addressed through the State Governments. The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshall BS Dhanoa and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba had also addressed the Conference emphasising on evolving a joint operational philosophy. During the deliberation a session was dedicated to discussion with Ministry of Defense to evolve a more wholesome action plan on administrative and modernization issues.

During the deliberations, important issues having HR policy ramifications have been discussed. There is an impetus to evolve a more pragmatic HR plan. The core values of Army though haven’t changed; rapid societal changes and discernible impact of socio-economic aspirations on Army have been a focus area of the just concluded Conference. The Army unlike most Government departments has a highly pyramidal structure, which results in over 50 percent personnel not being promoted despite being highly competent thus necessitating optimum utilisation of this pool of competent personnel. The Conference deliberated measures to enhance transparency and inclusiveness leading to greater equability. The proposals to make Short Service Officers entry scheme more popular, streamlining the intake pattern, employment of Women Officers and grant of Honorary ranks to Junior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers have been deliberated with positive roadmaps.

The Chief during the course of the deliberation highlighted the need for a more participative form of policy formulation. Concerned branches of the Army HQ have accordingly been directed to interact with wide cross-section of offices, branches, and personnel.

Army Commanders’ Conference is an important event in the planning and execution process of Indian Army. To ensure due diligence, decisions are taken through collegiate system comprising Army Commanders and Senior Officers.

Video : Maiden Firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile From Indian Naval Guided Missile Frigate INS Teg


L&T & Korean Giant Hanwha Techwin Sign Contract For Executing Tracked SP Gun Programme For Indian Army

Larsen & Toubro, India’s multinational engineering conglomerate and private sector defence major, and Hanwha Techwin (HTW) of South Korea, today signed a contract for execution of the 155mm/ 52 Cal Tracked Self Propelled (SP) Gun program for the
Indian Army.

L&T was declared as the sole qualified bidder, post User Evaluation Trials, based on the performance of the K9 VAJRA-T, a world class self-propelled howitzer appropriately customised and fielded by L&T with HTW as the technology partner. The K9 VAJRA-T gun is an enhanced version of HTW’s K9 Thunder, to suit specific requirements of the Indian Army including desert operations. HTW’s K9 Thunder is one of the best performing self-propelled howitzers in the world with over 1,000 numbers already in service in Korea and few other countries. This program has set new benchmarks in co-development and co-production of Defence Systems by Indian Private Sector Defence Players and Foreign Majors.

The contract is a result of nearly a decade long close relationship and joint efforts of the two companies on this program, through extensive user evaluation and field trials followed by contract negotiations with the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Jayant Patil, Head of Defence and Aerospace and Member of Heavy Engineering Board at L&T, said: “This contract marks an important milestone in L&T's Defence Business journey and in our relationship with Hanwha Techwin. It will create synergies not only for this program but also for upcoming Indian and global programs. This also marks a giant step forward towards furthering the “Make in India” vision of the Government of India. L&T plans to begin production of this vital weapon system at its Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon near Pune in Maharashtra and deliver the first batch of 10 guns. L&T also has initiated setting up of a greenfield manufacturing line at Hazira, Gujarat, integral with a state-of-the-art test track, to produce, test and qualify the K9 VAJRA-T guns.”

Keeping the spirit of Make in India, L&T shall not only manufacture K9 VAJRA-T in India, with over 50% indigenous content, but also provide through life support from India.

Larsen & Toubro is an Indian multinational engaged in technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services with USD 16 billion in revenue. It operates in over 30 countries worldwide. A strong, customer–focused approach and the constant quest for top-class quality have enabled L&T to attain and sustain leadership in its major lines of business for over seven decades.
L&T is India’s largest private sector Defence and Aerospace Company with experience of over three decades in the segment. Hanwha Group, Hanwha Techwin’s parent company, is the largest private sector defence conglomerate in South Korea.

Passing Out Parade Of Air Warriors

Air Marshal VC Wankhede SASO Reviews PoP of Air Warriors

An impressive Combined Passing Out Parade (CPOP) took place at Air Force Station Tambaram today (21 Apr 17).  A total of 462 Air warriors were inducted into the main Steam of Indian Air Force and one foreign trainees from Nepal also passed out successfully on the occasion.  The Air Warriors went through rigorous and intensive training at the two premier institutes of the base, namely, the Mechanical Training Institute (MTI) and the Workshop Training Institute (WTI), before passing out.  The Mechanical Training Institute (MTI) was awarded the prestigious 'President's Colours', on the 03rd Mar 2017, the only Airmen Training Institution to have this distinction.
Air Vice Marshal VC Wankhede, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Headquarters Training Command, Indian Air Force reviewed the parade.  He was received by                   Group Captain CA Somiah, Commanding Officer, Workshop Training Institute and      Group Captain A Arunachaleswaran, Commanding Officer, Mechanical Training Institute.  The occasion was also graced by Air Commodore S Shrinivas, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Tambaram.  The passing out trainees were also administered an Oath / Affirmation on Joining the Air Force fraternity.
            Addressing the newly inducted 'Air Warriors', the Reviewing Officer complimented them on their immaculate turn-out and impressive drill movements.  He further added that the Air Warriors must strive for professional excellence.  He also brought out that, with the induction of State-of-the-art aircraft, equipment and weapon systems, the Indian Air Force was witnessing major changes in operational philosophy and today is on the path of transforming itself into a strategic force of great caliber.  He urged the Air Warriors to make sustained efforts towards continuous enhancement of their technical knowledge and skills by keeping themselves abreast with the latest developments.  He exhorted the Air warriors to maintain exemplary conduct at all times, in keeping with the ethos of the service.  The parade culminated with the presentation of awards & trophies to meritorious trainees and an impressive display of Continuity Drill by the passing out Air Warriors.
The 'Best All-Rounder Trophy' was awarded to LAC Vipin Kumar Taliyan, Propulsion Fitter of Mechanical Training Institute and LAC Shivam Saxena, ESSA (SEW) of Workshop Training Institute.

Passing Out Parade Of Air Warriors At AF Stn

On 21st Apr 2017, 107 trainees of Automobile Fitter trade intake-34 at Mechanical Transport Training Institute (MTTI), successfully completed their training.  To mark the culmination of their training, a ceremonial Passing Out Parade was held today (21 Apr 2017) at Air Force Station, Avadi.

Air Commodore KK Biswas, Chief Instructor (Ground), Air Force Academy Hyderabad, was the Reviewing Officer for the Parade.  He was received by Group Captain PV Pawar, Commanding Officer, Mechanical Transport Training Institute, Air Force.  The Chief Guest reviewed the parade and presented Trophies to the meritorious trainee airmen.  Addressing the parade, the Chief Guest emphasized upon the trainees to ensure optimum contribution by each of them towards the service.  To achieve this, a sound foundation has been laid at Training Institute and this would help them in becoming true air warriors.

Trainees performed a yoga demonstration, which was followed by a dazzling display of Gypsy drill wherein the ab-initio trainees demonstrated their skills of dismantling and re-assembling a Maruti Gypsy in less than 5 minutes.  This was followed by unarmed combat demonstration.  All the trainees were smartly turned out and impressed every one with perfect drill movements.

Among the prize winners from the newly passed out trainees LAC Zunaid Khan was the best in trade, AC SP Singh was the best in General Service Training and LAC Mohit Yadav was adjudged as the best in all rounder

1EME Centre & Artillery Centre Celebrated “International Day of Sports For Development  & Peace"
“International Day of Sports for Development & Peace” and “World Health Day” month of United Nations, both for the year 2017 was celebrated at 1EME Centre and Artillery Centre at Secunderabad/Hyderabad in this month to promote Taekwondo and Martial arts, Physical fitness. The WHO theme for this year was to ‘Fight Depression’. At both the above Centres, the event was simultaneously commemorated by doing physical fitness exercises.

An overall total record number of 2305 Persons participated (1765 from 1EME Centre) in this event and achieved a “High Range Book of World Record for the largest simultaneous participation on the occasion”. The event was conducted at 1EME Centre by Brigadier Ajay Malik, Commandant and at Artillery Centre by Brigadier Rohit Butalia, Commandant with the support of Dr Jayanth Reddy, Founder & MD of JR International Taekwondo Academy, Hyderabad and under the overall coordination of Lieutenant Colonel Sunil Uniyal and Mrs Kiran Uniyal.

Friday, April 21, 2017

India , Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MOU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding

India and Republic of Korea sign Inter-Governmental MOU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding.

India and the Republic of Korea (RoK) signed an Inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding here today. The MoU was signed by Secretary (Defence Production), Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta from the Indian side and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), Mr. Chang Myoung-Jin from the RoK side. The MoU will help the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India.
The salient points of the MoU are as follows:-

• Develop and strengthen defence industry co-operation between Republic of India and the Republic of Korea.

• The two sides will recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects.

• The organisations recommended for co-operative projects may conclude separate agreements (contracts) between them to implement the specific projects.

• The MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be automatically extendable for further successive five year at a time.

The Inter-Governmental MoU, was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both sides as declared in the Joint Statement of the Prime Minister of India and the President of RoK in May 2015.

To substantiate the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’, the two sides had inter-alia agreed to encourage greater co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector. Accordingly, it was decided to sign an inter-governmental MoU on ‘Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding’. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has accorded its approval for signing the above MoU with RoK and also for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam from the Indian side for the collaboration. RoK will indicate the name of its recommended organisation for the collaboration in due course of time.

The co-operation with the recommended Korean Shipyard would enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities and execute naval shipbuilding projects in a timely and cost effective manner. HSL would be able to imbibe best practices in shipbuilding leading to effective project management.
As a result of the proposed partnership, the production of HSL is expected to grow substantially, leading to creation of more employment avenues. Further, in consultation with the recommended Korean partner, it is planned to identify and develop indigenous sources/vendors for the supply of majority of the material and equipment that would be needed in co-operative naval projects, thus paving the way for the development of ancillary industry /maritime cluster in the region.

Maiden Firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile

Indian Navy successfully undertook the firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from a ship today. This variant of Long Range BrahMos Missile was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, on a target on land. BrahMos Missile has been jointly developed by India and Russia, and its Anti Ship variant has already been inducted into Indian Navy. Majority of the frontline ships of Indian Navy, like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile. Land Attack variant of BrahMos Missile provides Indian Naval Ships the capability to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea.

This successful maiden firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile has significantly enhances the prowess of Indian Navy and has placed India into the club of select few nations.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Naval Chief Honours Naval Gallantry & Non Gallantry Award Winners at Naval Investiture Ceremony

Chief of Naval staff honours Naval Gallantry and non Gallantry Award winners at Naval Investiture Ceremony

Naval Investiture Ceremony, an annual event for the Indian Navy, was held at Command Parade Ground, Eastern Naval Command Visakhapatnam today, 20 April 2017. Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), conferred Gallantry and non Gallantry Awards to their recipients on behalf of the President of India at an impressive ceremonial parade.

Admiral Sunil Lanba was received at the parade ground by Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command. The CNS inspected a 50 men Armed Guard and reviewed the platoons of Naval and DSC personnel drawn from various ships and establishments of the ENC.

Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Lanba said that the occasion is of special significance, as it allows us to formally acknowledge commendable gallantry as well as devotion to duty of the fellow shipmates. He also thanked the family members of the award winners for their support to the service personnel in their performance of duty. He added that the core values - Duty, Honour and Courage forms the fundamental traits expected from all naval personnel. The award winners have displayed these and many more qualities such as patriotism, courage, fighting spirit, integrity sincerity, perseverance, discipline humility and selflessness that would have come to define our fine service. He also said that he firmly believed that it is the team work and never say die attitude of naval personnel that has made the Indian navy a strong and capable maritime force in the world today. The leadership, foresight and devotion to duty displayed by naval personnel has enabled a steady growth of our service and transformed us into a blue water navy.

Lt Cdr Vikash Kumar Narwal, Lt Cdr Neeraj Kumar, Veer Singh Chief Petty Officer Clearance Diver I and Rakesh Kumar Hull Artificer-4 (posthumously) were awarded Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) for their indomitable courage, conspicuous gallantry and outstanding professionalism. Other awards presented included eight Nao Sena Medals for Devotion to Duty, sixteen Vishisht Seva Medals, Sarvottam Jeeven Rakshak Padak awarded to Cdr Shishir Kumar Yadavannavar (posthumous), Jeeven Rakshak Padak to Lt Cdr Kapil Kumar Shishodia and Shri Neelkant Ramesh Harikantra LASCAR-1. Captain Ravi Dhir Medal was awarded to Aravind Marisamy Master Chief Air Artificer II and Lieutenant VK Jain Memorial Gold Medal was awarded to Commander Ravi Kumar Singh.

The CNS also presented unit citation to two afloat units and six shore establishments who have delivered exceptional performance over the past one year. These include IN Ships Trikand, Sunayna, IN Air Squadron 312A, Command Clearance Diving Team, Mumbai, INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam, Naval Ship Repair Yard, Karwar, Base Victualling Yard, Kochi and INS Kardip in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and INS Shivaji at Lonavala, Maharastra were awarded with the ‘CNS Trophy for Best Green Practices’ for the environment friendly / green initiatives.
Apart from the relatives of the award winners, the Ceremonial parade was also attended by Flag Officers, Commanding Officers of various ships, submarines and establishments and a large number of service and civilian personnel and their families.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

IAF Commanders Conference Begins

Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Raksha Mantri inaugurated the biannual Air Force Commanders' Conference at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan), New Delhi on 19 April 2017. Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) welcomed Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Raksha Mantri, Shri G Mohan Kumar, Defence Secretary and Shri A K Gupta, Secretary (Defence Production). He also introduced the Air Force Commanders to the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri.

The CAS updated the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri on the operational status of IAF and the progress on infrastructure development. He highlighted the efforts made to enhance aircraft serviceability towards maintaining operational readiness of Indian Air Force. Achievements during the recently conducted pan IAF and international exercises with friendly foreign countries were also covered by the CAS. He further elaborated the actions initiated for enhancing operational effectiveness and the future roadmap of IAF.

The Hon'ble Raksha Mantri deliberated on the challenges to Defence Forces due to the rapidly changing geo-political situation in the world and the uncertainties existing in the region. He commended IAF for having successfully conducted various military exercises and operations towards Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief both within and outside the country. Acknowledging IAF's capability as the first responder especially in face of a natural calamity he emphasised the resolve of the government in expediting approved modernisation programmes of the Service.

During the three day conference, senior leadership of the IAF would deliberate on issues pertaining to enhancement of combat effectiveness and development of human resources and infrastructure. To encourage indigenisation and enhance self-reliance in defence manufacturing a day long interactive session has been planned with delegations from HAL, BEL and other Defence PSUs. The CAS would also present trophies for excellence in various domains including cyber, communication, sports and welfare activities

Cabinet Approves Encashment Of Accumulated Leave to Defence Services Personnnel

Cabinet approves encashment of accumulated leave to certain Defence Services Personnel who died or were invalidated out while in service between 30 December 1991 to 29 November 1999 with less than 15 years of service

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved leave encashment up to 180 days in respect of those Defence personnel who died or were invalidated out of service between 30.12.1991 to 29.11.1999 with less than 15 years of service.

The decision will benefit the families of 9777 Officers and other personnel of Defence Services who died or were invalidated out of service during this period. This period is very significant as a large number of casualities took place during the Kargil conflict (“Operation Vijay”) and in counter insurgency operation in J&K and North East during the period.

Army Veteran Pays Homage to Martyrs, Plans to be a Global Nomad

Major General (Retired) Somnath Jha, aged 58 years, after serving the Army for 37 years, remains a man on the mission. This third generation soldier took up the daunting task of cycling throughout the Nation for 183 days as his tribute to around 21,000 Armed Forces martyrs since Independence. He cycled 11000km in 43,528 minutes, dedicating two minutes of cycling to each martyr. Asked as to ‘why two minutes of cycling’ and the Veteran replied ‘we observe two minutes silence for each of our martyr’.

On this journey, Major General Jha was pleasantly surprised at the support from individuals, local government offices, police and citizen groups. He was overwhelmed by the fact that most people he met related to the sentiment of his mission and joined in to pay homage to the martyrs for whom he was riding.

Gen Jha concluded his homage journey by laying of wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on 19 Apr 2017 and vowed to undertake similar endeavour once the National War Memorial is dedicated to the Nation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Canadian Defence Minister Visits India

"I am truly honoured to be here tonight. This trip is a bit of a homecoming for me. It is my first trip to India since being sworn in as Minister of National Defence by Prime Minister Trudeau in November 2015.

I was born in the village of Bombeli in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab and my parents emigrated to Canada when I was 5 years old. I have so many fond memories of my childhood in India.
I cherish these memories and my Indian roots. And I use every opportunity to teach my children about their heritage. And as much as I am proud of my heritage, I am also a proud Canadian. I have served Canada in many different roles.

I was a police officer in the Gang Crime Unit in Vancouver, tackling organized crime and drug violence.

I also served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. I served in Bosnia, and had three combat deployments to Afghanistan, where I was decorated by both the Canadian and U.S. militaries for my actions in fighting terrorism and the Taliban.

And today I now serve as a member of Parliament and Canada’s Minister of National Defence.
Even with the great opportunities Canada has presented me, it gives me great pleasure to say… I was born in India.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am no stranger to conflict. 

On my first deployment to Kandahar in 2006, I was the architect of Operation MEDUSA where we removed 1,500 Taliban fighters off the battlefield…and I was proudly on the main assault.
I was recognized for my efforts, but one question always nagged me: “How did the Taliban become so large after their defeat in 2001?” 

It turns out we did not address the root causes of the problem. 

The work I undertook in this field has given me knowledge. Knowledge that I now bring with me in my role as Minister of National Defence. Giving me a unique perspective on modern conflicts.
I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to the Foundation’s work in the area of defence and security.

It is truly a privilege to be here with you today, in the company of some of India’s greatest strategic thinkers and policy leaders.

Given India’s importance in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, this trip is an important opportunity to build and stregthen our bilateral relation, especially as it relates to defence.

I am exploring working together in the areas of naval cooperation, cold climate warfare, joint exercises, counter-terrorism, and sharing advances in defence research and innovation.

I am also interested in opportunities for Canada’s defence industry to develop closer ties with India. This is an area where we can benefit from each other’s expertise.

As Canada’s Minister of Defence, I believe strongly that collaboration among partners and allies is crucial to strengthen global peace and security.

In this respect, Canada and India have a strong foundation on which to build. 

Our countries have significant people-to-people ties and have enjoyed longstanding bilateral relations.

A relationship based on shared values and traditions such as democracy, pluralism, and respect for the rule of law.

Canada and India are also important trade partners – in sectors ranging from agriculture and education, to entertainment and energy resources.

The strategic partnership between our nations is evident given the many recent visits by my cabinet colleagues.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Modi have also engaged in dialogue, including at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last year.

These high-level engagements speak volumes about Canada’s recognition of India’s importance in today’s dynamic environment.

India has made major contributions to peace operations by sending battalion groups, engineers, medical teams, observers and staff personnel on some of the most challenging peacekeeping missions in history.

Indian troops have served in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Western Sahara, and several other places.

In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting several Indian Peacekeepers in Goma last summer. I was inspired by their experience and valued the insight they provided me.

Over 220,000 Indian troops have participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions, more than any other country.
Your contribution is remarkable. But it has come at a great cost. Unfortunately, 165 Indian soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of peace.

The international community is forever indebted to them for their sacrifice.
Like India, Canada also has a proud tradition of peacekeeping, dating back to Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

Some 120,000 Canadians have served in more than 50 UN operations – from Cyprus to Cambodia and, more recently, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and South Sudan.

It was Pearson who first promoted the creation of a UN-led “peacekeeping” force in 1956 to resolve the strife in the Suez Canal.  An achievement that earned him the Nobel peace prize, 60 years ago.
But the peacekeeping of yesterday no longer reflects the changing nature of conflicts today. Today’s missions are often undertaken where there is no peace to keep.

These missions are more about peace support and the protection of civilians than they are about traditional peacekeeping.

Modern peace support operations take place in complex and hostile environments where belligerents are often not identified, civilians are being targeted, and arms, drugs and people are being trafficked.
It is no secret that peace missions are under strain. Nor is it surprising that the UN has requested that countries with advanced militaries play a larger role.

In Canada, we understand that evolving conflicts abroad have a very real impact on our national security and Canadian interests. Many other countries do as well.

…“We cannot be an island of instability in an ocean of turmoil.”
Since forming government, Prime Minister Trudeau has committed Canada to multilateralism more strongly than we have in many years.

We have pledged troops and have launched our new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, worth $450 million dollars. 

Our commitment also includes an increase of up to 150 police officers deployed to support UN peace operations.

And our commitment doesn’t end there. Canada will be hosting the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial meeting later this year.

Canada has not only contributed to peace operations.

We had many hard fought battles in Afghanistan.

And Canada continues to make valuable contributions to several international missions right now, including in Iraq, Ukraine and soon in Latvia.

In addition, Canada has been involved in the counter-ISIL core group where we continue to make significant contributions and have evolved our approach from a strategic military one to a more hocomprehensiblelistic approach.

We know that military might alone will not resolve modern conflicts today.

Conflict prevention requires a deep understanding of the root causes of the conflict. It is not enough to just send soldiers. The military buys you time to allow diplomacy and development to work.

We also need to address the social and political factors that allow conflicts to fester in the first place.
That is why Canada’s approach to conflict prevention and peace support is a whole of government effort.

We believe we need to understand the fundamental causes of conflict, and learn from the experts who are working directly in the field.

We also must be frank about what is working – and what is not working – and consider innovative approaches to international peace operations.

In terms of innovative approaches, let me reiterate that the military alone will not be able to deliver security and restore countries to a peaceful state.

I firmly believe that NGOs, international organizations and the business community are doing very important work in conflict zones. We can learn from their experiences and perspectives.

I also feel strongly that we need to empower women in conflict and involve them in decision-making in security matters. I know this is an area where India excels. 

I applaud you for deploying the first unit composed entirely of female police officers in the UN to Liberia.

We also need to support younger generations in their education and eventually, in their gainful employment. This is particularly the case in Africa, where close to 60% of the population is 25 years old or less.

By working to address the root causes of conflict…by engaging other nations to work with us…and by supporting initiatives ranging from training to humanitarian assistance, development and education...we can maximize our contributions and increase our chances of success.

All of these things are needed today to achieve international peace and prosperity.

Let me say a few words about Canada’s efforts to renew its defence policy.

Our government has been engaged in some deep thinking about our priorities and objectives over the past year.

We recently undertook a comprehensive review of our defence policy to address emerging peace and security challenges.

The review was rigorous and evidenced-based, involving unprecedented consulations with Canadians, academia and experts, Parliament, and our allies. Consultations of this magnitude have not taken place since the 1990s.

This process explored three key topics. The first was to examine the main challenges to Canada’s security. 

The second assessed the Canadian Armed Forces’ role in addressing threats and challenges, now and into the future.

The third area looked at what resources and capabilities would be required to effectively tackle these challenges.

The input we received from consultations and our analysis of these key questions has informed a new policy approach that reflects the vision Canadians have for our country and where it is headed in the coming years.  

A policy that responds effectively to both the challenges and opportunities inherent in the world  now, and into the future.

I am in the process of finalizing Canada’s new defence policy, which I will soon be releasing.
In closing, let me restate the importance of a cooperative approach in building a more stable world, and of doing this  with allies and partners that share our interests and values.

This is especially true in the Asia-Pacific, a region that has great importance to both Canadian security and prosperity.

Canada’s innovation agenda and strengths in the defence and security sector can easily be overlooked.

We are a humble country and one that seems far away from India. But Canada is as much a Pacific country and we are back on the world stage, ready to make a real difference…I firmly believe that Canada and India have much to offer in terms of defence and security. We share a commitment to peace support and conflict resolution.

We live in societies that are diverse and built on democracy and the rule of law.

This is my first trip to India as Minister of National Defence for Canada. It will not be the last.  Thank you."


NEW DELHI, APRIL 18, 2017:  Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Mr Harjit Singh Sajjan, today emphasised the need for addressing the root causes of people’s discontentment to deal with issues of conflict.

Delivering a special address on “Conflict prevention and peacekeeping in a changing world”, organised by Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Canada High Commission, Minister Sajjan, who himself is a war veteran having served in hotspots in Bosnia and Afghanistan, said military might itself cannot be able to address issues of conflict anywhere in the world.
The Minister pointed out that the fact despite badly defeated in 2001, the Taliban could reemerge and became a big threat as the root problems of people were not addressed by the government and the Taliban exploited this for garnering people’s support.

“I learnt a lot from experiences in Bosnia and Afghanistan. I reached this conclusion after talking to local people in the conflict regions,” Minister Sajjan said.
He also pointed out that ISIS was a small group which went on to become a big threat to global peace, exploiting the resentments among the Sunnis and garnering their support.

Saying that Canadian government believes in comprehensive tackling of conflicts with development assistance and grievance redress, the Defence Minister said his government will never enter any conflict zone without proper understanding of the problem and comprehensive package to address the issues.
He said the issue is being discussed at the United Nations and soon expected some reforms in conflict resolution and peacekeeping which he said has changed now, from the earlier days.
The Minister said he had talks with Indian Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today and his government is keen to increase cooperation with India on Navy, counter-terror and research and development of weapon systems.     

Welcoming the Minister, ORF Director Sunjoy Joshi suggested an India-Canada-Afghanistan joint initiative to address conflict issues in the region.

“Once again as storm clouds gather, as nations committed to peace,  the time is ripe for a joint India-Canada Afghanistan initiative, which moves beyond military solutions to create a holistic framework for the betterment of the Afghani people, which looks at ways of reconnecting the economic lives of people in the region with the region and the rest of the world”, Joshi said.

Joshi said another area of mutual cooperation that arises relates to extremism, both the state sponsored variety as well as that perpetrated by non-state actors. India and Canada have a joint working group on counter terrorism and national security advisors dialogue.  There is the ever present menace of online radicalism. There is a lot  that our two nations can do to combat this through cooperation on cyber crime and cyber security, he added.

He noted that there is scope for increasing cooperation between our nations. Canada has a highly capable defence industry that is actively seeking business opportunities and partnerships around the globe. “India’s defense ties with Canada may yet be at a nascent stage, but we certainly stand to benefit from your nation’s technological skills, your considerable aerospace technologies, simulation and modeling technologies, cold climate expertise, your culture of research and innovation, all are Areas that suggest possibilities whereby Canadian defense manufacturers become an active part of the Make in India initiative,” he said.

President Awards Standard To Indian Army's Armoured Corps Centre & School

President Pranab Mukherjee presents  President’s Standard to Armoured Corps Centre and School Ahmednagar, at Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Army Commander’s Conference Begins

Biannual Army Commander’s Conference commenced on 17 April 2017 with the opening address by Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt.

Army Commander’s Conference is an important event in the planning and execution process of the Indian Army.

To ensure due diligence, decisions are taken through a collegiate system comprising the Army Commanders and other senior officers who will deliberate upon the prevailing security scenario, strategic and actionable issues to ensure effective combat edge of the Indian Army.

Gen Bipin Rawat, the Army Chief, in his opening address emphasized that all systems were working well and complimented all those who are working on the ground. He observed that Indian Army continues to hold a strong image and a professional reputation. He exhorted all ranks to endeavour to further strengthen the same.

Shri Arun Jaitley, Honb’le Raksha Mantri, addressed the Army Commander’s Conference and complemented the senior military hierarchy saying ‘whenever the challenges multiply or their nature changes, Indian Army has always outperformed itself’. He stated that modernisation of defence equipment is the topmost priority for the Government.

Indian Warships on Overseas Deployment: Visit Souda Bay, Greece

As part of the Indian Navy’s Overseas Deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa, four warships, namely Indian Naval Ships Mumbai, Trishul, Tarkash and Aditya, arrived at Souda Bay, Greece for a three-day visit yesterday. The warships will engage with the Hellenic Navy during their stay in the country. Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are planned, which would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding between the two navies.

The visiting ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command and are based in Mumbai. The Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the indigenous guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai.

The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds between India and Greece.

India and Greece are two of the world’s ancient civilisations with a long history of close contact. Building upon the rich and longstanding relations that have existed between India and Greece, both nations have developed warm relations in several spheres. A number of bilateral agreements for co-operation and cultural exchange exist between the two nations with the majority of them being signed in 2007 during the visit of President APJ Abdul Kalam. Trade between India and Greece remains vibrant with many Indian corporate houses having strong interests in Greece. A MoU for defence cooperation between India and Greece was signed in 1998. The Greek defence minister Mr Pannos Kammenos visited India in December 2015 and held discussions with his Indian counterpart Mr Manohar Parrikar, on various issues such as naval cooperation, training and regional security.

Over the last few decades India has made substantial advances in terms of designing and building warships indigenously and the visiting ships bear testimony to these capabilities. INS Mumbai and Aditya have been designed by the design bureau of the Indian Navy and constructed at Indian shipyards, namely, the Mazagon Dockyard Limited (in Mumbai), and, the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Limited (in Kolkata). The destroyer Mumbai and the frigates Trishul and Tarkash are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.

Indian Naval assets have been increasingly deployed in recent times to address the main maritime concerns of the region, including piracy off the coast of Somalia. In addition, the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with Hydrographic Survey, Search and Rescue, EEZ Surveillance and other such capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities. The current deployment in the Mediterranean Sea will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter operability and forge strong bonds of friendship across the seas.

Indian Army Veteran Reaches Delhi Cantonment on His Pan India Homage Cycling Journey

Major General Somnath Jha (Retired), 58, after having spent 37 years in the service didn’t want to simply hang up his boots the usual way. He remains the man on mission. Being a third generation soldier of the Indian Army he took up the daunting task of cycling throughout the Country in the memory of our fallen soldiers. Maj Gen Jha decided to pay homage to each of around 21,000 Armed Forces personnel, who have lost their life since Independence, by cycling for two minutes for each of them. In the words of Maj Gen (R) Somnath Jha “This is my symbolic homage to my brethren who didn’t have the privilege of retiring as I did since they made the supreme sacrifice before that”.

He hit the road 18 days after he retired on 19 Oct 2016 starting his journey from Ambala Cantonment (from where he retired) and has cycled for 42,000 minutes across 29 states over a period of seven months. Gen Somanth Jha reached Delhi Cantonment his penultimate day of his homage journey. He shall be concluding his homage journey at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi on 19 Apr 2017 where he shall lay wreath to pay homage to fallen comrades.

During the journey his day would start usually early in the morning and would cycle till he hits his day’s target which could be anything between 70 to 150 km taking minimal breaks in between. The couple paid homage to every war memorial in their way of journey. At his age he could achieve the feat speaks volumes about his dedication and feelings for the honourable cause.

Commissioned in the 11th Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry, Major General Jha is not new to such adventures. He has several challenging achievements under his belt — like scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 54 and learning paragliding at 56. Major General Jha is not alone in his one of a kind endeavour. He is accompanied by his wife Chitra – who is, a life skills coach and author of several motivational books. Mrs Chitra Jha takes care of the liaison and logistics making arrangements to stay at the next place of halt.

Junior Sailors’ Accommodation ‘BAAZ’ Inaugurated at Dega Vihar, Visakhapatnam

In pursuance of the thrust on improving the quality​ of life for Naval personnel , Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command (ENC) inaugurated a 120 Men Junior Sailors' accommodation ‘BAAZ’ at Dega Vihar on 13 April 2017.  The project was undertaken by Military Engineering Services.

The block consists of 15 dormitories equipped with state-of-the-art beds, individual almariah and reading table. Each dormitory is occupied by eight personnel. The dormitories were provided with all amenities such as water cooler and washing machine etc. The common room is provided with TV and set top box for recreation purpose. During the construction of the block, greenery around the block was retained and no damage was caused to trees conserving the environment. The event was attended by Flag Officers of ENC, Capt SAJoglekar, Commanding Officer of INS Dega and Officers from Naval Air Station Dega.

Guided Missile Destroyer of Indian Navy INS Chennai Dedicated to The City

INS Chennai, a P 15A Guided Missile Destroyer of Indian Navy, was dedicated to the city of Chennai in the presence of Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr D Karthikeyan IAS, Commissioner of Chennai and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Navel Command at an impressive ceremony held onboard the ship at Chennai Port Trust on 17 April 2017.

On his arrival, the Chief Minister was received by Vice Admiral HCS Bisht.  During his inaugural address, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht stated that the Indian Navy is fully geared up to meet the challenges at sea due to potent weapon platforms like the Chennai. He reaffirmed the Navy’s commitment towards the Government of Tamil Nadu and provide help to the people whenever called for.

The event was characterised by closely coordinated sequence of drills and events leading to formal unveiling of the plaque by Hon’ble Chief Minister. On completion of the dedication ceremony, the Hon’ble Chief Minister presented a memento to the ship which will not only find a suitable place but also remind of the association the ship has with the city of Chennai.

The ceremony was witnessed by a large gathering which included VIPs, dignitaries, Senior Officers from the three Defence Services, Coast Guard, Police Officials from Central / State Government, Corporation of Chennai, Chennai Port Trust, Industry, Academia and retired Naval Officers, Consul Generals and other dignitaries.

Named after the iconic port city of Chennai, the ship has a complement of about 45 officers and 395 personnel.  The ship is under the command of Captain CR Praveen Nair.

Release of Hijacked Indian Dhow 'Al-Kausar'

Indian registered Dhow ‘Al-Kausar’ was hijacked off the island of Socotra on 01 April 2017. The vessel was taken to the port of Hobyo, on the Eastern coast of Somalia and the 10 crew members were captured and held by pirates.

Indian Navy redeployed its ship, operating in the Gulf of Aden for Anti-Piracy Patrol, to the East coast of Somalia to monitor the ongoing situation and remain standby for any other contingency operations.

In the interim, negotiations commenced between the owner and the hijackers for the safe release of the vessel, its cargo and crew. All inter-government agencies maintained a close watch and effective coordination during the progress of negotiations. Based on the outcome of the negotiations, the dhow along with its cargo and two crew members were released on 11 April 2017, and the balance eight crew were released on 12 April 2017.

Somalian Security Forces also provided support and assistance during this operation with armed guards being positioned on the dhow off Hobyo harbour as well as search parties undertaking operations to locate the balance crew ashore.

The Indian Navy formally accepted the Dhow ‘Al-Kausar’ from the Mayor of Hobyo, Somalia at about 1600hrs on 13 April 2017, thus lowering the curtains on the hijacking saga, which had commenced on 01 April 2017. The IN  ship, deployed for this operation took over the dhow and escorted it into International Waters and onward towards its next destination. The ship conducted a medical checkup for all the crew members and provided necessary supplies for the onward journey, prior resuming anti-piracy patrol operations.