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Indian Army fully capable, ready to face all challenges: Gen Dwivedi

General Upendra Dwivedi inspects the Guard of Honour, a day after taking charge as the 30th Chief of the Army Staff, at South Block in New Delhi on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Army is ready and capable to face all current and future security challenges facing India, Army Chief Gen Upendra Dwivedi said on Monday amid the lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.

Gen. Dwivedi, who assumed charge of the 1.3 million-strong force on June 30, said that working towards ensuring synergy among the Army, Air Force and the Navy would be one of his priorities.

In remarks to the media after inspecting a guard of honour at the South Block in Raisina hills, he said the Army is facing "unique operational challenges" and to remain prepared for such threats, it is crucial to continue equipping the soldiers with latest weapons.

"I am fully conscious of the responsibility assigned to me and I assure the country and fellow citizens that the Indian Army is fully capable and ready to face all current and future challenges," he said.

The newly-appointed Army Chief also said that he will encourage induction of indigenously-built military hardware into the force to boost self-reliance in defence.

"The geo-political landscape is changing rapidly and technology is evolving at a very fast pace," he said.

"The Indian Army faces unique operational challenges and to remain prepared for such threats and distinctive requirements, it is crucial that we continuously equip our soldiers with state-of-the-art weapons and technology and continue to evolve our war-fighting strategies," he added.

Gen Dwivedi said the Indian Army is on the "path to transformation" and it aspires to be 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant) in defence.

"To achieve this, we will encourage indigenous initiatives and induct maximum war systems and equipment that are manufactured in our country," he said.

Gen Dwivedi said he would focus on ensuring that the Army is ready to operate in the "full spectrum of conflict".

"It will be my endeavour to ensure that the Indian Army is always ready to operate in the full spectrum of conflict, maintaining complete synergy with the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders," he said.

"This will ensure that India's interests are secured and we become a major pillar of nation building to achieve the vision of 'Viksit Bharat-2047'," Gen Dwivedi said.

The Army Chief said it is a matter of immense pride for him to lead the force.

"This is a moment of immense pride and honour for me to be assigned the responsibility to lead the Indian Army," he said

"The glorious traditions of the Indian Army rest on the legacy of valour and sacrifice of our soldiers. On this occasion, I pay my solemn tributes to the bravehearts who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty," he added.

The Army Chief said he was fully committed to protect interests of all the personnel in the force and to extend full support to ex-servicemen and their families.

"It will be my priority to ensure that the interests and welfare of all ranks and defence civilians of the Indian Army are looked after," he said.

"My responsibility towards veterans, 'veer naris' and their families is a sacred commitment and I assure this extended family, my full support," he said.

Gen Dwivedi briefly spoke to a group of religious leaders ahead of his ceremonial welcome at South Block.

An alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa (MP), Gen Dwivedi was commissioned into regiment of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in 1984. He has a unique distinction of balanced command as well as staff exposure across Northern, Eastern and Western theatres in varied operational environment.

Gen Dwivedi was serving as the Vice Chief of the Army since February 19.

Before becoming the Vice Chief, he was serving as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command from 2022-2024.

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