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Army commanders review India's security challenges, decide to enhance operational capability

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Top Army commanders have carried out a thorough review of India's security challenges including along the borders with China and Pakistan, and resolved to enhance operational capability of the forces to effectively deal with potential adversaries.

A plethora of pressing issues including speeding up infrastructure development along the border with China and ways to ensure jointness among the Army, Navy and the Air Force were discussed by the commanders at the conference which began last week on Monday and concluded on Saturday.

Sources said the commanders also deliberated on emerging security scenario along the border with Pakistan in the wake of Balakot air strike and subsequent Pakistani retaliation.

The Army asserted that it is committed to peaceful security environment and shall holistically address emerging threats while ensuring that there is no room for terror.

"The Army Commanders' Conference has comprehensively deliberated all aspects of extant security dynamics, emerging security scenarios, enhancing operational capability in near and long term and enhancement of combat edge over potential adversaries," the Army said in a statement.

"The deliberations at the conference validated the current course set by the military hierarchy, as merited by the dynamics of emerging security and operational events," it said.

The commanders decided that optimum force readiness will be ensured to deal with any security challenge.

The Army said there was a review about state of existing infrastructure along Northern borders and it has been decided to pursue key projects on higher priority, adding all weather connectivity to border areas was an area of focus.

The sources said the commanders also delved into implementation of ambitious reform initiatives in the Army.

The commanders discussed the role of women officers in view of government's decision on their permanent commissioning.

"Avenues for making the lady officers experts in foreign languages, artificial intelligence, data management, cyber and space domains are being examined," the Army said.

The commanders also decided to re-prioritise the existing requirements to ensure that the resources allocated for force modernisation and capacity building be utilised by optimising allotted budget.

Referring to jointness, Army said all future security challenges will be dealt with by the three services.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, in his address at the conference, talked about vision and high credibility of IAF missions and how they can be synergised.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff, also addressed the Army Commanders, focusing on jointness and challenges in maritime domain.

Additionally, to promote indigenisation through 'Make in India', an exhibition of emerging and future defence technological innovations was also held.

A total of 53 domestic companies participated in the event.

Officials said the commanders also deliberated on ensuring welfare of the families of brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice, adding the year 2019 has been declared as the year of 'Next of Kin'.

They said the Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat emphasised on the need to enhance technological threshold of all ranks.

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