The small battle groups will fit well in the theater commands, says the army chief

NEW DELHI: The new (IBG), which have now been tested on the western and eastern fronts for their ability to mobilize quickly and strike hard, will fit well into the proposed creation of unified in the country, says the chief general.

The creation of agile and autonomous IBGs, each with around 5,000 soldiers and a varied mix of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defense, signals, engineers and other support units, is part of the ongoing restructuring of the fort of 13 lakh All army war machinery to ensure a better offensive blow.

Smaller battle groups will automatically be better for theater commands. We can assign IBG, which will bring more operational efficiency, to several theaters. But the conversion of Formations the size of a Corps (the Army has 14 Bodies, each with 40,000 to 60,000 troops) will take time, General Naravane said.

But the army chief is confident that the IBGs, after the required government authorizations, will take a final concrete form in a year or a year and a half from now on after having undergone war exercises last year. The Army first tested IBGs destined for Pakistan under the 9 Corps in the Western Command based in Chandimandir, in April-May.

Then, the Him Vijay exercise was carried out in October to test the IBGs for the mountain war in Arunachal Pradesh under the 17 Bodies in the Eastern Command based in Calcutta. The reports are very encouraging. Those who participated in the exercise are now for IBGs. The 'IBGization' of certain selected bodies has now been practiced in the field with exercises, said General Naravane. To begin with, the Army plans to divide between eight and 10 IBGs from the 9 Bodies (headquarters in Yol, Himachal Pradesh), 17 Bodies (Panagarh, West Bengal) and 33 Bodies (Sukna, West Bengal). The entire army will not rush into the IBGs. First we will validate them on the ground and test their effectiveness for three or four years in these three bodies, said a senior officer.

The concept of compound and permanent IBGs, each led by a major general, changes the existing operational structure of infantry, armored vehicles, artillery and other combat support units that come together only during combat or real exercises. Each IBG will also be specifically designed to meet the nature of the intended threat, the type of terrain involved and the task to be performed. Then, for example, IBGs destined for Pakistan will focus more on tanks and heavy artillery, while those from China will revolve more around infantry and light artillery due to different terrain, as TOI previously reported.

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