- Undeniably, the adage army marches on its stomach holds true since times immemorial and will continue to hold sway in the foreseeable future too. What is also equally important and an extremely important cog in the purposeful marching of the army is the combat-support units extending every veritable assistance enabling the eventual achievement of objectives. Of course, modern technology-driven warfare comes with its own sets of challenges which necessitate countries to not only strengthen their respective military with state-of-the-art weaponry but also prepare to be combat-ready whenever the exigency ensues. Needless to mention, threatening the sovereignty has to be countered effectively assumes paramount importance.
PC: Carl Röchling
- In the context of the Indian military establishment, the army per se has essayed its role most professionally, admirably, and adroitly rising to the occasion to thwart evil enemy designs time and again. The history of the Indian military is replete with supreme valour, bravery, sacrifices, martyrdom, and mind-numbing achievements in foiling misadventures from across the borders. We, as Indian citizens, are tremendously proud of our armed forces for the selfless sacrifices made over the decades. No wonder, citizens also closely follow who heads the three arms of the armed forces no sooner do the reports about the incumbent’s term approach the end. As reported, Lieutenant General Manoj Pande will be taking over as the next army chief when the incumbent General MM Naravane retires on 30th April 2022.
- An interesting point to note here is Pande will become the first-ever officer to be commissioned in the Corps of Engineers to head the 12-lakh strong force. His promotion comes at a very tricky juncture not only at the national level but also fast-evolving international scenario too. We are aware of how our troops continue to be engaged in a border standoff with China in easter Ladakh for the last two years. Not to forget the troublesome and terrorist-producing factory of Pakistan on the western borders. On top of it, the uncalled-for invasion of Russia of Ukraine has come at an inopportune time closely following the mayhem of pandemic-induced economic challenges.
PC: Mike Carnathan
- Intriguingly, the war in Ukraine is also forcing militaries around the world to re-evaluate their strategies and defense preparedness vis-à-vis guarding the sovereignty of the nation. Honestly, nobody expected the Russian military operation to last this long, the conflict will soon complete two months, and face such high losses against a much smaller Ukrainian force. It is widely acknowledged now that the Russian military has been bogged down by poor planning and logistics. Despite its overwhelming firepower, its supply lines have been stretched with convoys often being stuck in thawing muddy terrain.
- This allowed the Ukrainian resistance to picking off Russian mechanized units. Importantly, reports of Russian soldiers carrying expired rations and a significant number of Russian tanks breaking down due to mechanical failure go to show the importance of combat-support arms in any military operation. Note that the Corps of Engineers that Lt Gen Pande was originally commissioned into, he later opted for general cadre, is one such arm of the Indian army. For the uninitiated, along with Artillery, Air Defence, Aviation, and signals, it forms the critical support backbone of the forces. With Pande at the helm of army affairs, upgrading our combat-support arms should receive top priority henceforth.