JORHAT, Feb 22: Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, general officer commanding-in-chief, Eastern Command, said, “The Army has been enhancing its capabilities by upgradation of weapons to face constantly evolving threats and challenges in the eastern front of the country.”
Lieutenant General Kalita said this while speaking at the investiture ceremony of Eastern Command held for the first time in Swargadeo Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha Samanway Kshetra at Mohbandha here near Jorhat on Wednesday.
The GOC, who presented the gallantry and distinguished services awards at the solemn ceremony, said that the Army is maintaining a high state of readiness and preparedness and has been accordingly enhancing its capabilities by inducting technology-infused new weaponry and equipment.
He stated the process of undertaking technical upgradation and innovations was on to enhance its operational readiness. Lieutenant General Kalita also mentioned about a series of infrastructure development projects underway in the north-eastern region like bridges on the Brahmaputra and tunnels in Arunachal Pradesh along with a large number of roads infrastructure in the region.
The GOC said that the synergy between various national, state organisations and that of the Army had led to fast-paced connectivity in remote areas and reduction in maintenance activities.
The Army Eastern Command Commander while observing that Army has been playing a significant role in maintaining peace and tranquility in the region stated that peace and developmental activities in the region had led to stabilisation of counter-insurgency scenario in the north-eastern states enabling in removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in several districts of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
He further spoke about the coordination pursued among the Army, IAF and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for carrying out synergy operations. The GOC also stated about outreach programmes undertaken by the Army to boost civil-military relations and create bonhomie between Army and local population.
Lieutenant General Kalita also said about the Army’s response during rescue efforts in floods in Assam and organising of various sports and other seminal events in the region like Purvottar Swabhiman Divas, Border Festival, etc.
On organising the Investiture Ceremony here, the GOC said, “In sync with the national policy of organising major events of the organisation in important places across the country to throw spotlight on those cities, Jorhat, a key cultural, educational hub where students of north-eastern states come to pursue their studies, was chosen for the ceremony.”
He further said, “In the backdrop of the Investiture Ceremony, a two day ‘Know Your Army-Equipment Display Mela’ at the Jorhat Stadium has been organised on February 21 and 22 with an aim to attract and to motivate young minds to join the armed forces that had bright career prospects.”
The GOC lauded the role of army rank and file in discharging their duty for the motherland and making sacrifices in upholding peace and tranquility.
Altogether 12 officers, one junior commissioned officer, and 12 other ranks were felicitated with one Yudh Seva Medal and 19 Sena Medals out of which 18 were for gallantry, one for distinguished service and five Vishisht Seva Medals.
In addition to individuals, 30 Army units/battalions which have performed outstandingly in various fields, were felicitated with the chief of Army Staff and Eastern Army Commander Unit Appreciations in the function.
The Army Commander later interacted with the award winners and their families wherein he acknowledged their invaluable contribution in upholding the highest standards of professionalism of the Indian Army.
Later, during a brief interaction with media, Lieutenant General Kalita said that Assam Rifles has been actively carrying out drives in the north-east against illegal narcotics trade even as police and other security forces of the states were continuing operations in this regard.