Army conducts exercise in high altitude area of eastern Ladakh

Arun Sharma
Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh during the exercise in eastern Ladakh.

A military exercise was carried out in "super high altitude area" in eastern Ladakh on Wednesday, Army sources said. Integrated troops of all arms and services participated in the drill, displaying their professional competence and warfighting capabilities in external terrain and high altitude conditions, they said.

The exercise, which encompassed the use of mechanised forces with high technology platforms, was witnessed Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command. He was briefed on the occasion by General Officer Commanding of the Fire & Fury Corps, Lt General Y K Joshi.

Significantly, the exercise in which ground troops and mechanized units participated, comes a week after the troops of India and China were engaged in a heated exchange in eastern Ladakh near Pangong Tso. The exchange triggered after Chinese Army personnel objected to patrol by Indian soldiers in the area. However, the issue was resolved during delegation-level talks between the two sides on Wednesday.

Sources attributed it to differing perception between the two armies over the Line of Actual Control between them, saying that in the absence of its clear demarcation, it often leads to transgression by one or the other side. Pointing out that nearly 1,600 km of the 4,000 km long border between the two countries falls in Eastern Ladakh, sources said that there are established mechanisms to resolve such issues.

Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh also visited forward locations in Eastern Ladakh and was briefed on the operational situation and readiness being maintained in the sector. He interacted with the troops deployed at the forward locations and complimented them for their dedication towards duty in extreme terrain.

During the day, the Northern Army Commander also interacted with members of 15th Finance Commission led by Chairman N K Singh who are on a visit to field formations in the Northern Command so as to have first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by Indian Army in discharging their duties under extreme terrain and altitude conditions.

The Finance Commission, amongst many things is also mandated to take stock of the requirements of the Armed Forces and assess the financial outlay required to meet the operational needs in terms of roads, infrastructure, weapons and equipment, official sources said. The Northern Army Commander apprised the members about the challenges faced by troops in Ladakh sector, they added.