Army plans transformative drive to modernise force, make it more versatile

Indian Army in Kashmir
The Indian Army is planning to launch an extensive transformative drive by early 2019 to make the force operationally more versatile as it struggles with zooming revenue expenditure and pension bill, The Times of India (ToI) reported.

The Army is expected to discuss the results of four ongoing studies headed by senior Lieutenant Generals at the Army commanders' conference in October. The studies are focussed on force reorganisation and optimisation, cadre review, flattening headquarters and terms of engagement for officer and jawans, the news daily said in its report quoting its sources.

The report says that the feasibility of raising “special operations force brigade" for the western and northern borders with Pakistan and China is also being considered under the overall plan. Other proposals under consideration are: slashing non-operational flab, downsizing the Army headquarters in Delhi, to create composite and integrated brigades, with four to five battalions each instead of the existing three to be commanded by Major Generals.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat will look at the final consolidated plan by the end of November and after that, it will be sent to the defence ministry for clearance, ToI report said.

The integrated brigades will be larger combat forces which will report directly to the corps headquarters doing away with the need to have divisional headquarters, each of which controls three brigades at present, in the middle, according to the ToI report.

Currently, the army has six operational or regional commands, which have 14 corps and 49 divisions under them, and one training command.

Similarly, To ensure the availability of a larger number of officers for postings to frontline operational units rather than being deployed for staff duties, Army is planning to downsize the Army headquarter in New Delhi.

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