India Reportedly Kicks Off Military Combat Drills Near Border With China

Indian Army Arunachal Pradesh

The Indian Army has kicked off a major military combat exercise in the strategically-located state of Arunachal Pradesh, a media report said.

The Indian Army’s mountain-trained 17 Corp is participating in the month-long “Him Vijay” Exercise in an area of the northeastern state that is at some distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that acts as a de facto border between India and China.

The exercise is aimed at converting the Indian Army’s 17 Corps of into “a lean and mean force to carry out swift attacks in a dynamic operational scenario”, the Times of India quoted Indian defence sources as saying.

Three recently-created Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) comprising of 5000 army soldiers each are said to be participating in the exercise, which is focused on mountain warfare preparedness. Tanks, light artillery, air defence units and India’s signals corp, in addition to other elements, are also reportedly taking part in the drill.

The Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster-III, C-130J Super Hercules and AN-32 transport aircraft and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters are being used to airlift soldiers and equipment across valleys as part of the month-long combat exercise, the daily reported.

The “Him Vijay Exercise” is focused on three simulated objectives – determining the nature of the threat envisaged in an area, [managing] the terrain involved and [completing] the task given,” the Times of India quoted a source as saying.

This is the first combat exercise to be held near India’s border with China and involves the participation of the Indian Army’s 4 Corps and 17 Corps; Indian news agency ANI quoted defence sources as saying last month.

The Indian Army’s Eastern Command has been preparing for it for the last six months.

Last month, the Indian Air Force activated its eighth advanced landing ground in the Vijaynagar area in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. This advanced landing ground has been revived to operate fighter jets and transport aircraft near the China border, according to defence ministry sources.

India shares around 4,000 km of its borders with China, in territory ranging from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

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