In­te­grated Bat­tle Groups get go ahead af­ter army com­man­ders meet

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Sudhi Ran­jan Sen let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: In­te­grated Bat­tle Groups (IBG) – smaller, meaner, self-con­tained fight­ing units of the In­dian Army com­pris­ing of el­e­ments of air power, ar­tillery, amour etc – is now a re­al­ity. The bi­en­nial Army Com­man­ders Con­fer­ence that con­cluded on Satur­day in New Delhi cleared for­ma­tions of IBGS.

As against the some­what an­ti­quated fight­ing for­ma­tion of Corps – each com­pris­ing 8-10 Brigades - each IBG is likely to have just about 6 bat­tal­ions. Each Bri­gade com­prises 3-4 bat­tal­ions each with 800 fight­ing men.

In ad­di­tion, more sweep­ing changes, for in­stance, “right-siz­ing” of the 1.3 mil­lion strong In­dian Army, hav­ing lan­guage skills with men and of­fi­cers be­ing trained in dif­fer­ent lan­guages – both In­dian and for­eign like Man­darin, Urdu, Dari, Pashto etc have been ac­cepted at Amy Com­man­ders Con­fer­ence in New Delhi.

The changes will be “im­ple­mented pro­gres­sively i n a phased man­ner,” the In­dian Army said in a state­ment is­sued Satur­day evening. The Hin­dus­tan Times ear­lier re­ported that In­dian Army was shift­ing gear to form IBGS chang­ing the way the In­dian Army fights its en­e­mies.

Cur­rently, Brigades fol­lowed by the Corps re­spec­tively are the small­est and big­gest for­ma­tions that are com­mit­ted to bat­tle. The IBGS, on the other hand, are smaller and more flex­i­ble al­low­ing faster mo­bil­i­sa­tion and more flex­i­bil­ity to the army.

The re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the fight­ing el­e­ments and “right-siz­ing” of the In­dian Army will, how­ever, be pre­ceded by “testbed­ding” or a se­ries of ex­er­cises to val­i­date the con­cept so that im­ple­men­ta­tion is smooth and ef­fec­tive, the army said. “Not ev­ery Corps, Di­vi­sion or Bri­gade will be re­placed by an In­te­grated Bat­tle Group. The ter­rain, threat per­cep­tion and op­tions avail­able to the en­emy will go into de­cid­ing whether an IBG will re­place the cur­rent struc­ture,” a se­nior of­fi­cer said.


A woman comes out of a polling sta­tion af­ter cast­ing her vote for the third phase of mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Sri­na­gar on Satur­day.

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