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Issue of Pakistani drones to feature prominently at Army commanders' meet

The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir will also be discussed at the top level event being held until October 19.

Oct 15, 2019, 09.06 AM IST
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Reuters
Army commanders' meet to discuss ways to tackle Pakistani drone menace
(Representational image) Since last month, security forces have been spotting small drones crossing the International Border in Punjab.
NEW DELHI: The threat of Pakistani drones crossing the border into India reportedly for dropping arms and ammunition and how this challenge can be tackled will be discussed at the army commanders conference which began in Delhi on Monday.

The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir will also be discussed at the top level event being held until October 19. The conference is held in April and October every year, where the army’s top brass brainstorms on emerging security and administrative challenges and charts the force’s future course. It leads to important policy decisions.

Modernisation and the restructuring of the army proposed through four internal studies will also be raised. A crucial matter of newly proposed war fighting concept, Integrated Battle Groups (IBG), as part of the restructuring efforts will also be discussed at the conference. An IBG is smaller than a division and is a mix of existing elements of infantry, tanks, artillery, engineers and signals. They are designed to be self-sufficient and quickly mobilise during a conflict.

An issue of raising the retirement age of soldiers, especially trained manpower such as nursing assistants will be discussed. The army sees this as an important move aimed at retaining soldiers who have been trained and specialised in a particular field over a long period of time.

While the issue of tackling intruding Pakistani drones does not fall within the army’s responsibilities, but “the threat of these drones will be discussed during the conference,” an official said.

Since last month, security forces have been spotting small drones crossing the International Border in Punjab. Several assault rifles and grenades have been dropped in this manner. It is perceived that the weapons could be used by terrorists. Security agencies have now been given clearances to shoot down drones crossing the border and flying at 1,000 feet and below. But the crossing of drones into Indian territory has highlighted vulnerabilities in the security architecture at the border areas. Officials said that work is going on to procure systems to detect and neutralise these drones.

Meanwhile, officials added that “The future security plan for J&K and whether the reorganisation of the state (abrogation of Article 370) will affect the army’s systems.”

While a review of the overall security scenario will be done, discussions on military operations matters were held on Monday.

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