Army Commanders to discuss security situation, 'Space Vision'

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) Senior Army Commanders will meet here from tomorrow for a four-day brain-storming session to discuss the Indian Army's Space Vision--2020 and take stock of the latest security situation in the region and the status of India's operational readiness.

The Conference, which will focus on key policy, conceptual and doctrinal issues in the light of prevailing and developing security environment, will be chaired by Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor. All Army Commanders and senior officials will attend the Conference which will be on till October 27.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the Combined Commanders' Conference on October 24.

The senior Army leadership is slated to discuss a large number of important issues during the four-day deliberations. One critical issue on the agenda will be the Army's Space Vision 2020.

''The Army realises the importance of space as a vital arena for future exploitation and has already established a 'Space Cell' in the Army Headquarters to coordinate space-based applications in a joint services operational environment,'' an official spokesman said.

The deliberations during the conference will be aimed at ratifying the Army's space philosophy, concept of utilisation of space at tactical, operational and strategic levels, desired operational capabilities and related ground and space assets.

Situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast and various aspects of force modernisation will come up for review at the Conference.

''The conference will take a holistic review of the security environment, status of operational readiness as also the appraisal of situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast. The aspects of force modernisation, including battlefield transparency, long range precision engagement and integral air-mobility will come up for in-depth discussions as part of the overall review as also the appraisal of the progress made in transforming the Army from platform centric to network enabled and finally to a fully network centric force,'' the spokesman said.

Space applications are expected to enhance functional effectiveness of the Army even in non-combat operations through use of space-based communications, weather forecasts, avalanche warnings and navigation.

Towards this, the issue of consolidation and convergence of networks to cater to appropriate redundancies are also slated to be deliberated upon at length.

The other issues that are expected to be addressed during the conference are effective management of ammunition and the ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

The focus is expected to be on expansion of the ECHS for wider coverage as well as measures to make it more cost effective through enhanced outsourcing of health services.

UNI

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