India-China Border Current Affairs - 2019

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58th Raising Day of Indo-Tibetan Border Police

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) celebrated its 58th raising day on 24th October, 2019. The function was held at Greater Noida and was attended by Union Minister of state Home Kishan Reddy.

ITBP

The ITBP is one of the seven Central armed forces that was raised on October 24, 1962 under the CRPF act. They were formed in the wake of Sino-Indian war in 1962. On the whole there are 56 service battalion and specialist battalions that constitute ITBP.

Current Status

Today, the ITBP is deployed in guarding duties. They guard the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. This covers over 3,488 km in the delicate and porous Indo-china border. They are also manning border outposts on altitudes ranging between 9,000 and 18,700 feet in the Western, Easter and Southern sectors of Indo-China border.

ITBP is a specialized mountain force. Most of the officers in the unit are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers. They are the first responders of natural disasters. They carry out numerous rescue operations and relief operations across the country.

Indian Army begins its first mountain combat exercise ‘Him Vijay’ in Arunachal Pradesh

The Indian army will begin its first ever mountain combat on October 7. The exercise is to test the mobility, coordination and communication of the troops in difficult terrain. The exercise is to be conducted in two phases.

Highlights of the exercise

  • The first phase will be held between October 7 and October 10, 2019. The second phase will be held between October 20 and October 24, 2019.
  • The exercise will include threes battle groups, each comprising of 4,000 soldiers. This is the largest military exercise in the history of Indian defense. The exercise includes mountain assault and air assault as well.
  • The exercise is done more than 100 km in the Indian Territory from the Line of Actual Control
  • The army helicopters and air force are to transfer the troops and equipment at the terrain up to 15,000 feet.

Significance of the exercise

The exercise is important for the validation of the Integrated Battle Group (IBG) that was newly raised with new operational concepts. The IBG was established to meet the modern warfare considering the military progress of the enemy threats.

IBG – Integrated Battle Group

IBG was created in 2018. It was created for quicker and formidable launch of attack on enemy. There are about 5 to 6 IBG units. The configuration of the unit depends on the aim the forces require to achieve at that point of time and also depends on the operational terrain.

The Combat arms of the IBG namely armored, Infantry, Artillery, mechanized infantry will be trained together at one place. Based on the terrain desert, mountain or plains the intelligence team of engineers, signal support, communication support, supply will be integrated.

Concerns

The exercise is to be conducted almost on the same timeline of Chinese President Xi Kingping arrival to India between October 11 and 13. He is to attend a second informal meeting with the Indian PM Modi at Mamallpuram, Tamil Nadu.

India and China share boundary of 3,488 km. Of which, 1126 km lies between Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh. The exercise is to be conducted at a distance of 100 km from the Line of Actual Control in the Indian Territory.

Each troop holds more than 4,000 soldiers. The protocol requires that if either sideline of Actual Control, it shall not be targeted against the other side.