Reveals about new battle groups to face China, Pakistan

New Delhi, November 05 (KMS): Interestingly, it is none other than the Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, who had threatened Pakistan with surprise action a day after New Delhi cancelled a meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September, this year, has now admitted that Indian army’s organisational structure is old and it needs a change.

General Rawat in an interview to an English newspaper in New Delhi said, “We are preparing ground to keep the forces ready for any future eventuality. Our organisational structure is old. It needs change.”

In his interview, he shed light on the Indian army’s plan about two types of integrated battle groups (IBGs) — smaller for mountains (China border) and bigger for plains (Pakistan border).

Asked about the proposed change or restructuring of the army, General Rawat said: “We are going to test-bed the integrated battle groups (IBGs) very soon. I am suggesting that we be integrated in peacetime to save the time wasted in ‘integrating’ while going for combat. Various battalions (of infantry, armoured, artillery, signals and engineers) are already assigned to an area and we now want them to be ready in peacetime.”

“Test-bed” is a term in military parlance for trying out a new concept in field under real conditions. Asked if the IBG will be a bigger form of a traditional brigade (three-four battalions or 3,500 men), the army chief said: “We are looking at two types of IBGs — smaller ones for the mountains (the Himalayas facing China) and the bigger ones for the plains (facing Pakistan).”

Explaining the IBG and its working, Gen Rawat said: “A combat group ‘integration’ is done as you are launched into battle. The IBG will be doing ‘integration’ in peacetime.” Refuting suggestions that this could be a tweak to the “cold start doctrine” (first made public in 2004), the Army Chief said: “The adversary had worked out a plan. We have to beat them in time and space.” The “cold start” implies the Army’s readiness for offensive operations from a standing start. Commenting on the future, Gen Rawat said: “The nature of warfare is changing. We have to change and adapt.”

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