In­dian Army’s Ex­er­cise Sar­vada Vi­jay

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - — Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

Ex­er­cise ‘Sar­vada Vi­jay’ (Al­ways Vic­to­ri­ous) was held at Ma­ha­jan field fir­ing ranges on May 3-4, 2014. The over­all aim of the ex­er­cise was to prac­tise con­ven­tional cross­bor­der thrusts into en­emy ter­ri­tory. In the joint oper­a­tion, the In­dian Air Force also took part in the ex­er­cise. The ex­er­cise in­volved about 20,000 troops, 200 tanks, 500 in­fantry com­bat ve­hi­cles and how­itzers and also in­volves the Head­quar­ters of the Mathura-based Strike Corps with some sup­port el­e­ments, as per the Army sources. The ex­er­cise was based on the con­cept of a di­vi­sional bat­tle group de­liv­er­ing a lethal punch in a swift of­fen­sive oper­a­tion across the in­ter­na­tional bor­der. Af­ter Oper­a­tion Parakram in 2002, which ex­posed the weak­nesses in the build-up of strike forces and the slow troop mo­bil­i­sa­tion along the bor­der, the Army re­or­gan­ised its for­ma­tions along the western front to en­sure the ca­pa­bil­ity to deliver a more ef­fec­tive lethal punch, if re­quired.

Jaipur-based Head­quar­ters South-Western Com­mand was cre­ated in 2005 as the 1.18-mil­lion-strong Army’s sixth and new­est op­er­a­tional com­mand. While 1 Strike Corps falls un­der the South-Western Com­mand, two other such “at­tack” for­ma­tions are 2 Corps (Am­bala) un­der the Western Army Com­mand at Chandi­mandir and 21 Corps (Bhopal) un­der the South­ern Army Com­mand in Pune. Ear­lier, Army had car­ried out sim­i­lar ex­er­cises like ‘ Vi­jayee Bhava’, ‘Su­dar­shan Shakti’ and ‘Shoorveer’ on the same lines.

Ex­perts said fu­ture wars are likely to be lo­calised in na­ture and cap­tur­ing of max­i­mum high value en­emy ter­ri­tory in swift and dar- ing op­er­a­tions across the IB by rel­a­tively smaller forces with ad­e­quate fire­power will give an edge to the at­tacker.

Lt Gen­eral Arun Ku­mar Sahni wit­nessed the con­duct of ex­er­cise ‘Sar­vada Vi­jay’ in Ra­jasthan. The Army Com­man­der was ini­tially briefed on the train­ing as­pects and later wit­nessed the con­duct of the ex­er­cise in the field.

The ex­er­cise was con­ducted as part of rou­tine train­ing where a des­ig­nated Army for­ma­tion was prac­tised in its op­er­a­tional role and made to hone its war-fight­ing skills. Com­pos­ite in­fantry and mech­a­nised forces prac­tised swift ma­noeu­vres as part of the air-land bat­tle. Net­worked radars, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles and aerial sur­veil­lance plat­forms en­sured con­tin­u­ous flow of in­for­ma­tion re­sult­ing in bat­tle­field trans­parency which en­abled com­man­ders to as­sess and suit­ably mod­ify their op­er­a­tional plans to meet the emerg­ing chal­lenges. Mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems in­te­grated with ter­res­trial net­work pro­vided ef­fi­cient com­mu­ni­ca­tion dur­ing ma­noeu­vres.

The Army Com­man­der also re­viewed the com­mand and con­trol struc­tures that fa­cil­i­tate syn­ergy be­tween the Army and Air Force in launch­ing a co­or­di­nated air-land bat­tle. He spent two days with the Strike Corps and its for­ma­tions. He specif­i­cally re­viewed the abil­ity of a strike force to or­ches­trate bat­tle in a net­work-cen­tric en­vi­ron­ment. Due to the scale of the ex­er­cise and its close­ness to the in­ter­na­tional bor­der, Pak­istan was also in­formed re­gard­ing the ex­er­cise.

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