- The 73 Mountain Brigade has its headquarters in Laipuli, which is close to the town of Dibrugarh in Upper Assam. Its job is to keep fighting rebels in four districts of the state.
- The officials said that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other new forms of surveillance equipment are being put in place along the LAC in the Arunachal Pradesh sector.
The Indian Army is doing a big “reorientation” and “rebalancing” of its troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh. A top General said that the Indian Army’s overall combat readiness in the area is “very high order.”
The Army is taking steps to improve its overall readiness for battle during a military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh that has been going on for over two years.
Senior military officials told PTI on Wednesday that the Army is preparing for war by building roads, bridges, ammunition depots, and improving its air assets and surveillance systems. This is so that troops can be sent to the strategically important RALP (Rest of Arunachal Pradesh) region of the northeastern state more quickly.
General-Officer-Commanding (GOC) of the 2 Mountain Division Major General MS Bains said that all of the Army’s attention in the area has been moved to the border with China and that the Assam Rifles are now doing almost all of the counter-insurgency operations that the force used to do.
He said that projects to improve infrastructure, such as building roads, bridges, tunnels, helipads, and other infrastructure, are being done quickly, especially in the Upper Dibang Valley area of Arunachal Pradesh.
Maj. Gen. Bains told a group of visiting journalists, “Our overall combat readiness in the region is very high.”
Another high-ranking official said that the focus is also on expanding the 4G network in places like Kibithu, Walong, and Hayuliang that are important from a strategic point of view.
China has put up a lot of mobile towers on its side of the LAC in the area, and in some places, Indian phones automatically connect to a Chinese network.
The officials said that the Army and other interested parties are building long-term capabilities as part of a five-year plan (from 2021 to 2025). The main focus has been on “restructuring, rebalancing, and reorienting” the forces to keep a closer eye on the LAC with China.
They said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) was also making big improvements to its air assets, like building new helipads and making the Advanced Landing Grounds even better (ALGs).
One of the officials said, “We are trying to keep up with China in terms of building infrastructure.”
On the reorientation of troops in different places, like the RALP (Rest of Arunachal Pradesh) area close to the LAC, officials said that all Army units, except for the 73 Mountain Brigade, are now working to deal with problems along the LAC.
The 73 Mountain Brigade has its headquarters in Laipuli, which is close to the town of Dibrugarh in Upper Assam. Its job is to keep fighting rebels in four districts of the state.
“Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Manipur all have better law and order now than they did before. So, most of the anti-insurgency work is done by the Assam Rifles, and the Army’s main focus is on reorienting the troops along the LAC “said a representative.
Another government official said that the government is also committed to improving infrastructure in border villages in a big way.
“The vibrant village programme has identified 990 villages in five districts of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
The officials said that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other new forms of surveillance equipment are being put in place along the LAC in the Arunachal Pradesh sector.
They said that the goal of capability development initiatives is to make sure that troops can be called up quickly.
In the wake of the May 2020 border standoff between China and India in eastern Ladakh, the need to move troops and weapons quickly came back into focus.
After the tensions in the Ladakh standoff got worse, the Army took a number of steps to improve its ability to do its job in the eastern sector. These steps included buying all terrain vehicles, precision-guided ammunition, high-tech surveillance equipment, radars, and weapons.
At several points of conflict in eastern Ladakh, Indian and Chinese troops have been in a standoff for more than two years.
As a result of high-level military talks, the two sides have stopped fighting in several places in the area.
But neither side has found a way to end the standoff in the remaining points of contention.
The most recent round of high-level military talks was in July, but nothing concrete came out of it.