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50 nations on Indian shores for fleet review

50 nations on Indian shores for fleet review
An indigenously built Extra Fast Attack Craft of the Indian Navy, based on the design of Israeli Super Dvora Mk-II, is seen during the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. PTI

Visakhapatnam, February 6

President Pranab Mukherjee today embarked on Presidential Yacht ‘INS Sumitra’ and reviewed the imposing international parade of fleet at IFR-2016 here where 50 countries across the globe have come together to participate in this show of prowess and preparedness by the Indian Navy.Mukherjee, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, among others at the International Fleet Review (IFR). This is the 11th fleet review after Independence and the second international one being conducted in India.The President was onboard ‘INS Sumitra’ which sailed through a display of 70 ships at anchorage off Visakhapatnam. Speaking after reviewing the fleet, Mukherjee said 50 friendly Navies had sailed across oceans and sent Naval ships and/or delegations to participate in the first IFR on the east coast of India at Visakhapatnam.“Navies world over have conducted fleet reviews to symbolise their loyalty, allegiance to the nation and strengthening bonds between the sailors and the state. IFR 2016 does that much and much more,” the President said.“IFR 2016, while focusing on the prowess of Indian Navy, has brought together Navies from across the globe here on Indian shores, signifying our common desire to use the seas to promote peace, cooperation and friendship as also develop partnership for a secure maritime future”, he said.The review had a combination of ships from Indian Navy as well as frontline Navies from across the globe. The ships from Indian Coast Guard and Mercantile Marine also participated.In this most formal of naval ceremonies, each ship dressed in full regalia saluted the President as he passed. — PTI

Guwahati stint ‘harder’ than Siachen

Guwahati stint ‘harder’ than Siachen
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5

Posting in Guwahati is “tougher” than serving on the forbidding Siachen Glacier, if one goes by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations to the government. The CPC has suggested Rs 31,000 per month for officers and Rs 21,000 per month for jawans as allowance to compensate them for the “hardship” faced at Siachen. However, once the pay commission’s new salary slabs come into place, the tough area allowance (TRA), which is about 33% of the basic salary, in civilian services works out to be in excess of Rs 55,000 for IPS and IAS officers and Rs 30,000 for others posted in areas like Guwahati.Demanding “fair play”, the armed forces in a representation to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar have suggested a new “hardship matrix” to decide allowances. The representation contends that the facts presented before the CPC are erroneous and its 899-page report submitted in November 2015 has inaccuracies while dealing with military salaries, say sources.The armed forces feel Siachen cannot be equal or lower to Guwahati when deciding on the “hardship” factor. On Wednesday, 10 soldiers died after an avalanche struck “Sonam post” at 19,600 feet on Siachen Glacier, burying them alive and wiping out a helipad.A soldier is posted for six months on the glacier with the mission to protect it from the Pakistan army. The induction process involves three months of acclimatisation and a three-week trek to the post with a full load of weapons. Besides the Army, IAF’s 114 Helicopter Unit and Army Aviation are tasked with providing supplies, besides carrying out rescue missions.The armed forces have suggested a “hardship matrix” that grades the hardship on two fronts — nature of job and geographical location.They have suggested that Siachen be placed on the top of the list and those posted should get 65 per cent of their basic pay as “hardship allowance”. This, as per the new salary slabs of the CPC, will be a fair allowance.Antarctica comes second on their list of suggestions, followed by counter-terrorism duties. Fourth on the list are special operations forces in counter-terrorism roles.

Rs 31,000 vs Rs 50,000: Pay panel’s strange logic

  • The 7th Central Pay Commission has suggested Rs 31,000 per month in hardship allowance for officers posted at Siachen
  • However, IPS and IAS officers posted in areas like Guwahati are set to get Rs 55,000 as tough area allowance
  • The armed forces have approached the Ministry of Defence seeking a new ‘hardship matrix’ to decide allowances

Siachen: All 10 missing soldiers hit by avalanche confirmed dead


DNA: Army declares all soldiers in Siachen avalanche dead


‘Siachen’ trending on Twitter today

short by Nihal Thondepu / 04:17 pm on 05 Feb 2016,Friday
On the day after 10 Indian soldiers died in an avalanche at Siachen, ‘Siachen’ was a top Indian Twitter trend on Friday. Ex-Army Chief General VK Singh tweeted, “My salute to the brave Tambhis who lost their lives in avalanche at Siachen”. Another tweet read, “A salute to the Indian Army for braving out the hostile conditions at Siachen”.



10 soldiers missing as avalanche hits Siachen; rescue operation on

10 soldiers missing as avalanche hits Siachen; rescue operation on
Tribune file photo of the Siachen Glacier.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3Ten soldiers of the Indian Army are missing following an avalanche on the Siachen glacier in the northern part of the Jammu and Kashmir.The avalanche occurred this morning in the northern-most part of the 70 square km glacier that forms the tri-junction of India, Pakistan and China.The Madras Regiment is stationed at the spot where the avalanche occurred. One post on the Army – a stone bunker – has gone under the glacier. Rescue teams of the Indian Army, the Army aviation helicopters and the Indian Air Force helicopters have been pressed into service.One Junior Commissioner Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of the Indian Army came under the avalanche, Defence PRO at Udhampur-based Northern Command Col SD Goswami said.The area has no loose snow, an avalanche at that height occurs when ice blocks move down from the heights.The average altitude in the area is 20,000 feet and day time temperatures are minus 20 degrees Celsius. Indian troops had occupied the glacier in 1984 after fears that Pakistan Army was trying the same. A 109-km long divide between India and Pakistan is called the actual ground position line (AGPL).Last month, four soldiers of 3 Ladakh Scouts were killed when their patrol party was hit by a massive avalanche in the Ladkah region of Jammu and Kashmir.In 2012, an avalanche on the Pakistani side had caused the deaths of more 30 people. — With PTI inputs

Ojasvi Best Cadet in R-Day parade

Our Correspondent,Chamba, February 2


The NCC cadet Ojasvi Sharma of Chamba won the first position in the Best Cadet competition in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.The banner was presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Ojasvi in New Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day. Ojasvi also got gold in the Army senior category.He hails from Chamba and is a student of RK Memorial National Public School. The staff and students of the school conveyed their congratulations to Ojasvi on his achievement.Professor Joginder Singh Dhiman, Chairman, Department of Mathematics, Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Shimla, has been selected the Rashtriya Gaurav Award for his meritorious services in the fields of Education and Social Welfare by the India International Friendship Society. The award will be presented to Professor Dhiman on March 11 in New Delhi.Dr Dhiman has been actively engaged in teaching and research since 1993 and has guided 12 students for Ph.D. He is holding the Additional Charge of the Director, Pre-Examination Coaching Centre, HPU, and is the chief adviser of the equal opportunity cell established in the university.He has been instrumental in having collaboration of the HPU with the Forum of SC/ST legislators and parliamentarians for carrying forward various welfare activities pertaining to the students belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes. — TNS

IAF to procure 8 aerostat radars

Vijay Mohan,Tribune News Service,Chandigarh, February 2

The Indian Air Force has drawn up plans to procure up to eight aerostat radar platforms to bolster low-level air and sea surveillance. The procurement process, which has been hanging fire for the past few years, comes in the backdrop of loopholes in land and maritime border management as have been revealed in terrorist strikes in Mumbai and Punjab.An aerostat is an unpowered helium-filled balloon tethered at a certain height above the ground. It is equipped with surveillance and communication equipment. It can remain deployed for a number of days at a stretch, scan a wide swath of area and is particularly effective for detecting low-flying or surface objects, making it a cost effective alternative to aircraft in peace time.A request for information issued by the Ministry of Defence a few days ago seeks a batch of four, six or eight aerostat systems, which can be deployed at an altitude of 15,000 feet and above, have network-centric compatibility so that they can be integrated into the IAF’s Air Command and Control System along with other assets and possess electronic warfare capabilities.Procurement of Aerostats was part of a series of recommendations to streamline border management and enhance surveillance capabilities in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil conflict. However, little has been achieved in this direction.The IAF procured two Aerostats from Israeli firm Rafael at a cost of Rs 338 crore and inducted them into service in 2007 and 2008. A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) revealed that one of the aerostats was damaged in 2009 as standard operating procedures were not followed while bringing it down, rendering it non-operational.

HAL rolls out prototype of trainer aircraft

  • Bengaluru: Public sector aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Tuesday announced rolling out the first prototype of basic trainer aircraft HTT-40. Touted as a “boost” to PM Modi’s pet theme of “Make in India”, the advances made by Hindustan Turboprop Trainer (HTT-40) will put pressure on the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is keen to make its fleet of basic trainer to consist entirely of Swiss Pilatus aircraft. TNS

Japan deploys antimissile system against N Korea

short by Nihal Thondepu / 07:21 pm on 02 Feb 2016,Tuesday
The Japanese government on Tuesday said it has deployed ground and sea-based antimissile interceptors to prepare itself for a possible missile test by North Korea. Japan’s Defense Ministry said surface-to-air missile systems as a part of a two-tier defense were deployed at 34 locations. However, Japan did not reveal if they will shoot down the test missile when launched.

Woman BSF constables foil intrusion attempt

BATALA: An attempt by three intruders to sneak into the Indian territory from Pakistan was foiled by women personnel of BSF in Ajnala sector last night, an official of the force said on Friday.

The women constables of the BSF deployed at Sundergarh Border Out Post (BOP) in Ajnala Sector noticed some movement on the Indo-Pak border late last night, the official said.

Three intruders were trying to sneak into Indian territory from Pakistan side, the official said. The women constables opened fire on them to stop them from entering Indian territory, he said, adding the intruders managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Freedom fighter’s wife refuses honour

Sanjiv Kumar Bakshi,Hoshiarpur, January 27

A freedom fighter’s wife refused to take the honours during the Republic Day celebrations at the local police lines here yesterday. Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani was the chief guest on the occasion.Channan Kaur of Naru Nangal village, whose husband Jai Singh was the driver of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, alleged that they face several problems throughout the year, but neither the police nor the district administration gave an ear to them.She said if they have to be ignored and insulted like this, then why should they accept this two-metre cloth in the name of honour which was given to them on August 15 and January 26.She said if such attitude continued then she would have no option but to immolate herself outside the Deputy Commissioner’s door.Channan Kaur alleged that many a time the police moved her out of the police station or offices. She said the freedom fighters were not getting pension from the state government and they were only getting pension issued by the Union Government.She said whenever they raised their problems before the chief guests at Independence Day or Republic Day, they ask the DC to look into the matter, but the DCs never pay heed to them.Jyani said he had no idea why she was saying so. He added that all officers listen to her and they had even gone to her village.

Air Force readies to receive special craft

Tribune News Service,Chandigarh, January 23


‘Cotam Unité’ is the official call sign of French President Francois Hollande’s personal aircraft that the Chandigarh Air Force Station would be playing host to during his brief visit to the city tomorrow.Special arrangements have been made by the local Air Force authorities for handling the Airbus as this type of aircraft is neither in the IAF’s inventory nor used by scheduled commercial airlines operating out of Chandigarh.Portable passenger step ladder and other ground-handling equipment compatible with the Airbus 330 have been positioned here. “The station has the required capacity to handle the Airbus-330,” a senior officer said.The presidential Airbus is operated by the Escadron de transport, d’entrainement et de calibration (Transportation, training and calibration squadron), which is under the direct command of the French Minister of Defence.The aircraft will be parked in the dispersal area in front of the Air Traffic Control, which is generally used for VVIP flights.

About Cotam Unité

  • Cotam Unité is the official call sign of French President Francois Hollande’spersonal aircraft
  • A specially retrofitted Airbus 330-200, the aircraft is the French version of Air India One, the aircraft used by the Indian President or PM
  • Cotam is the acronym for the French Air Force’s Military Air Transport Command

Fog could pose concern

  • IAF sources said weather was a concern as fog could reduce visibility. “Chandigarh does not have a category-III instrument landing system for zero visibility operations,” an officer said.

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Search for ‘intruders’ near Army camp in Ludhiana

Tribune News Service,Ludhiana, January 23

The Army and the police began a search operation in Dholewal today after residents of Bhagwan Nagar reported the movement of unidentified persons near the Army camp.Sources said a resident of Achaar Wali Gali in Bhagwan Nagar complained of his window grill having been dismantled. He told the police that those who broke the grill were in Army uniform.As the street is near the Army camp, the police and the Army swung into action. The police also procured the CCTV footage from various places in the area. The police said since the footage was not clear, they couldn’t identify the culprits.Paramraj Umranagal, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said, “On a preliminary investigation, it seems to be a theft bid. But as the street is near the Army camp, we do not want to take any chances and thus, we started a search operation.”Umranangal said two persons in blue jackets were first seen moving in the area around 10 pm and then around 1.30 am.