A contingent of the Madras Regiment marches past at the 75th Army Day Parade, at MEG Centre, in Bengaluru on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

Bengaluru: India’s Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Manoj Pande on Sunday announced to convert the “Battle Squads” into “Integrated Battle Groups” in an effort towards structuring and optimisation of the force.

General Pande made the announcement while speaking at the 75th Army Day event organised here at Govindaswami Drill Square ground.

“In an effort towards force structuring and optimisation, we are planning to convert our Battle Squads into Integrated Battle Groups, which will contribute effectively to the battlefield of the future,” Pande said.

He further said that “old establishments and units are being disbanded, or are being revamped with suitable changes.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh greets Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande during the Shaurya Sandhya’ event organised as part of 75th Army Day celebrations, in Bengaluru on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023. Image Credit: Rajnath Singh Twitter

To make the “teeth-to-tail” ratio effective with modernisation and technological infusion, Pande said, “the Army will be right-sized so that human resource or manpower can be used properly”.

“Our aim will be to move from a manpower-intensive to a technologically driven Army,” said the Army chief, adding “our primary focus will be our soldiers, who will be fully prepared and equipped to face the challenges of the future.”

Provision of modern weapons and equipment is an integral part of this effort, for which the Indian Army is determined to find indigenous solutions, said Pande. “Modernity through ‘self-reliance’ will be our new mantra.”

Mentioning that the “Indian Defence Industry is rising up to this challenge with competence”, the Army chief said “the Indian Army moving towards partnership from a “buyer-seller relationship” with the industry.

“Several initiatives have been taken to further strengthen this relationship, which includes ‘hand holding’.”

He asserted that the Indian Army has full faith in the sturdiness and operability of ‘Made-in-India’ weapons and equipment.

“Niche Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, quantum communications, unmanned systems, and directed energy weapons are also being indigenized,” said the Army chief, adding “we are confident that the Indian Army will fight and win future wars with Indian solutions.”

Army Service Corps (ASC) motorcycle team 'Tornadoes' performing stunt at the 75th Army Day Parade, at MEG Centre, in Bengaluru on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

In the direction of making our processes and systems effective and efficient, Pande said “we are ending or changing some traditional practices, which have lost their relevance.”

To increase functional efficiency, he also said “we have to make our processes more effective.”

Pointing that infrastructure development and logistics are important parts of the Indian Army’s operational preparedness, he announced the infrastructure requirements of the force will be “aligned and coordinated with the national logistics policy as a result of the launch of the PM Gatishakti Initiative.

On the Army Day event, Pandey also said that the Indian Army is determined to work along with all agencies and departments in the progress of the country.

Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year. It was on this day in 1949 that General K M Cariappa took over as the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Army.

This is the first time that Army Day and its related events are being held outside the national capital Delhi.