Government Clears Surgery to the Forces to Enhance Combat Capability

In an effort to enhance the combat capability of India’s military forces, Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved reforms within the Army in accordance to the recommendations made by a review committee headed by Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatakar.

In the first phase of the reforms, the government has decided upon redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers/JCOs/ORs and civilians. Mr. Arun Jaitley, who until 6th September held the portfolio of Defence Minister, labelled this as the biggest reforms to the Indian Army post independence. This will eventually lead to an increased ‘tooth-to-tail’ ratio in the Army, thus, steadily increasing the current number of supply and support personnel for every single deployed combat soldier.

Accordingly, the government will now initiate major reforms along the Army’s ranks for optimisation of Signals Establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments. Further, the Army will work towards restructuring of repair echelons to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshops and Static/Station Workshops in the field Army.

Indian Army soldiers with the 99th Mountain Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Gurkha Rifles, execute an ambush for paratroopers with the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, May 7, 2013, at Fort Bragg, N.C. The soldiers are participating in Yudh Abhyas, an annual bilateral training event between the armies of the United States and India sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

In a phased manner, the Army will further work towards redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and Central Ordnance Depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms. Following the orders of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Army will close down 39 military farms and all Army postal establishments in peace locations.

Of the 99 recommendations made by the expert committee to the forces, the government in its first phase has approved 65 recommendations. Having worked out a detailed implementation program, the Army will complete these reforms in all respects by 31st December 2019. Restructuring by the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing Combat Capability in a manner that the officers/JCOs/ORs will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the Armed Forces for improving efficiency.

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