NEW DELHI, Jan 15, 1999(taken from "The Tribune"): Malik promises better weapons. The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V.P. Malik, said today that improved weapons and equipment were being introduced in the Army to enhance its force multiplier and low intensity war capabilities.
Addressing officers and jawans on Army Day at the Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment, General Malik said: "We have taken concrete steps to enhance our force multiplier and low intensity war capabilities in surveillance, night observation, mobility, anti-mine and improvised explosive device(IED) operations besides electronic warfare."
Asserting that efforts to improve weapons and equipment profile would gather momentum, he said a comprehensive programme for information technology had also been charted for the Army. He said this programme would enable us to exploit its multifarious dimensions in the next millennium. He also announced the inauguration of Army website on Internet.
"The efficiency and performance of the force depends on the abilities and morale of its soldiers," the Army Chief said, adding this could be possible by ensuring that the forces were well equipped, well trained and well looked after.
He assured the soldiers that the current year, declared as "year of the jawan", would be devoted to the training, greater educational awareness, facilities and welfare measures for the troops.
General Malik also lauded the troops for performing their duties with total commitment braving difficulties and dangers whether in the Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir or in the North-East.
General Malik presented 19 Sena Medals, 10 of them posthumously, and 11 Vishisht Seva Medals(VSMs). Two units(8 and 58 engineer regiments) received special appreciation for deftly carrying out the groundwork for the May, 1997 Pokhran nuclear explosions while 15 units were the recipients of COAS citation for successfully meeting the challenge of insurgency in various parts of the country.
Earlier, the Army Chief reviewed a smart parade, commanded by Maj. Gen S.K. Awasthy, General Officer Commanding(Delhi area), where Tungushka, the Russian-made state-of-the-art air defence weapon radar, satellite communication systems(Satcom), RTS(radio trunk systems), MBT, Arjun, surface-to-surface missile, Prithvi, and EMP(engineering mine plough) also formed part of the parade, attended among others by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sushil Kumar and military attaches from foreign countries.
The regiments taking part included 61 Cavalry, Madras Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry, Rajputana Rifles, Rajput, Sikh Light Infantry, Garhwal Rifles, Kumaon Regiment, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and Assam Regiments.
Following is the list of awardees:
Sena Medal: Brig Richard Khare(Infantry), Col Satish Chander Singh Pathania(34 Rashtriya Rifles), Maj Ram Chander Chillar(Intelligence), Maj P.P.S. Sidhu(posthumous, 13 Field Regt), Maj Ranjan Kumar Lamba(6 JAK Rif), Maj Deep Bhagat(9 Para, special forces), Maj Sanjay Singh(posthumous, 26 Rajput), Maj Mukesh Kumar(posthumous, 3 Sikh), Capt Naveen Sharma(posthumous, 8 Rashtriya Rifles), Capt Manu Chaudhary(16 Engr. Regt), Lt Virendra Prasad Bhatt(Signals), 2 Lt Manpervesh Herr(13 Guards), 2 Lt Abhay Singh(3 Kumaon), Sub Joginder Singh Verma(posthumous, 26 RR), Hav Dharam Pal Singh(posthumous, 15 Guards), Hav Jiwan Singh(posthumous, 3 Kumaon), Rfmn Dharamjeet(posthumous, 20 JAK Rif), Gdrs Champa Lal Geel(posthumous, RR) and sep Diwan Singh(posthumous, 3 Kumaon).
Vishisht Seva Medal: Lt Gen Harjinder Singh Bagga(Infantry), Maj Gen Bopanna Bittanda Kariappa(Infantry), Maj Gen(retd) Vijay Kumar Sareen(AOC), Brig Ashok Kapur(Infantry), Brig Harish Chandra Singh(Armd), Brig Rajiv Chopra(Arty), Brig Sheodraj Singh Ahlawat(Infantry), Col Sanjiv Chachra(Rajput), Col Maan Singh(13 Guards) and Lt Col Ajay Kumar Dutta(AMC).
COAS unit citations were given to 5 Dogra, 13 Mahar, 881 Lt Regt, 666 R and O Sqn, Army Aviation, 7 Maratha Li, 2 Rajput, 3 Kumaon Rifles, 19 Kumaon, 10 Assam, 15 Assam, 17 Bihar, 1/5 Grenadiers, 21 Rashtriya Rifles, 30 Rashtriya Rifles and 31 CIU.