Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 11
The strength of the Army’s mechanised infantry battalions is up by four battalions, with the Brigade of The Guards raising three new units and the Mechanised Infantry Regiment being in the process adding one more to its existing strength of 26 battalions.The new raisings come even as the Comptroller and Auditor General had revealed a year ago that the Army faced an acute shortage of BMP mechanised infantry combat vehicles (MICV), the mainstay of the aforementioned regiments. This, CAG had remarked, would have an adverse impact in the 12th Army plan as several new mechanised infantry battalions were planned to be raised.While The Guards had raised one battalion, 20 Guards, about a year ago, 22 Guards is under raising, with designated officers having been posted and equipment started coming in. Both the battalions at present are located in the western sector, with one in the plains and the other in the deserts. Sources said orders had been issued to raise 23 Guards.It is after about four decades that The Guards have raised new units. Several other infantry regiments have also raised new units as part of force accretions and ongoing restructuring to meet emerging operational challenges. Besides 20 operational battalions and two under raising, The Guards have two Territorial Army units. In addition, the 21st Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles, a paramilitary force employed for counterterrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir is also a Guards outfit.Initially raised as regular foot infantry soon after Independence, The Guards were later fully mechanised and are equipped with infantry combat vehicles like the BMP-2/3 and recce and support equipment. A decade ago, they were moved from the jurisdiction of the Directorate General Infantry at Army Headquarters to the Directorate General Mechanised Forces that oversees the functioning of the Armoured Corps amd Mechanised Infantry.
After nearly four decades,The Guards raise 3 units
- The Brigade of The Guards is raising three new units after about four decades. The Mechanised Infantry Regiment is also in the process of adding one more to its existing strength of 26 battalions
- While The Guards had raised one battalion, 20 Guards, about a year ago, 22 Guards is under raising. Sources said orders had been issued to raise 23 Guards