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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Central Command to ‘Combatise’ More Units Amid China Focus

With the establishment of the 1 Corps for the northern sector and the Panagarh-based 17 Corps for the eastern sector, the Indian Army is doubling down on its commitment to safeguarding its borders.

In a strategic move aimed at strengthening its presence along the northern borders with China, the Indian Army, comprising over 1.2 million personnel, is set to “combatise” additional formations under its Central Command based in Lucknow.

The Uttar Bharat (UB) Area, stationed in Bareilly, traditionally serving administrative and peace-time purposes, is slated for a transformation into a fully operational corps.

This overhaul will see the incorporation of additional infantry, artillery, aviation, air defence, and engineer brigades, effectively elevating its readiness for combat roles. The move comes in response to the need for enhanced vigilance along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), particularly in the middle sector.

The proposed 18 Corps, as it’s likely to be named, will bridge the gap between the existing 14 Corps stationed in Leh, Ladakh, and the 33 Corps stationed in Sukna, West Bengal. This strategic positioning aims to bolster India’s defensive capabilities across all sectors – western, middle, and eastern – amidst ongoing tensions with China since May 2020.

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The re-balancing efforts extend beyond mere administrative reshuffling. The Mathura-based 1 Strike Corps, previously focused on the western front with Pakistan, has been redirected to reinforce the LAC, reflecting the military’s adaptive response to evolving security threats.

With the establishment of the 1 Corps for the northern sector and the Panagarh-based 17 Corps for the eastern sector, the Indian Army is doubling down on its commitment to safeguarding its borders. This reorganization underscores India’s proactive approach to address regional security challenges and maintain territorial integrity.

The gradual “combatization” of the UB Area, which has seen recent reinforcements with one division and three independent brigades, underscores India’s preparedness to counter potential threats from China. This transformation will further augment the area’s defensive capabilities, pending formal sanction for its elevation to a corps-level command.

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Despite diplomatic efforts, including numerous rounds of talks at the corps commander level, China has remained steadfast in its refusal to disengage troops from key confrontation points along the LAC. The Indian Army’s proactive measures aim to ensure readiness and deterrence in the face of continued tensions, reaffirming its commitment to national security and sovereignty.

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Pratham Gurung
Pratham Gurung
An avid movie buff who aspires to make it into the armed forces. Always had a knack for words so reading and writing are my favourite hobbies. Can debate on anything but not everything.
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