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Pranab Inaugurates Biannual Army Commanders Conference

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee today inaugurated a biannual Army Commanders Conference here slated to review the preparedness of the Armed Forces to fight in an environment created by nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

The weeklong Conference will also review efforts to turn the infantry soldier into a mini-computer-aided fighting machine as also the operational situation in Jammu&Kashmir and the North-East.

The Conference -- chaired by Army Chief General JJ Singh and to be addressed also by Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi -- would witness for the first time the country's top nuclear and biological scientists sharing India's preparations in nuclear and chemical warfare technologies with the Army's top brass.

Post-'Operation Parakaram' -- during which the country faced veiled nuclear threats from its adversary -- both the Defence Research&Development Organisation and the Army have come up with nuclear bomb-proof battlefield command posts with simultaneous efforts to equip frontline and other strategic forces with anti-radiation clothing. Weapons systems, too, have been adapted to operate in such an environment.

The Army's top brass -- including Vice Chief S Pattabhiraman, top Commanders and senior staff officers -- will hold comprehensive discussions on the Future Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) as envisaged in Infantry Vision 2020.

The F-INSAS concept aims at equipping a frontline infantry soldier with radar and sensor-guided helmets, night vision and GPS system. Equipping the infantry with such a mechanism would turn a soldier into a system to relay information and battle statistics to rear formations. The US and the NATO forces are also working on similar systems for infantry soldiers.

The Army Commanders Conference is held twice every year to review operational readiness, training and other activities of the Army and, wherever required, issue fresh directions to carry out mid-course corrections.

The training of Army personnel on 'Information Technology' for organisational adaptations and meeting future requirements of the Army will be another important topic to be deliberated upon during the week. Some of the other important topics to be discussed would include State of Health of the Army, Budget Expenditure Management, Creation of Pool of Foreign Language Specialist Officers in Army and steps to make inspections by top brass more meaningful, according to an official spokesperson.

Yet another feature of the week-long conference would be presentation of the COAS Overall Sports Championship Trophy bagged this time by Southern Command.

The Commanders Conference would be followed by the Army holding its most complex offence-oriented corps-level exercises so far next month in Punjab.

UNI DG RL HT1735

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