Ashwamedha reinforces importance
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'Ashwamedha' reinforces importance of foot soldiers
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'Ashwamedha' reinforces importance of foot soldiers

The five-day long army exercise-Ashwamedha--reinforces the importance of foot soldiers in future operations and wars, and the amalgamation of the latest technology to carry out a swift and asymmetric warfare in the 21st century.

By Sudhakar Jagdish

Jaitpur (Rajasthan), May 2 : The five-day long army exercise-Ashwamedha--reinforces the importance of foot soldiers in future operations and wars, and the amalgamation of the latest technology to carry out a swift and asymmetric warfare in the 21st century.

However, unlike the yesteryears' idea of mammoth deployment of the infantry, the latest war doctrine emphasizes on small and agile Special Forces that would be dropped deep inside the enemy territory to secure strategic positions even when the regular forces are just near the border and trying to breach it.

The lessons learnt from the hostile situation that the US is currently facing in Iraq and Afghanistan has led the Indian Army to modify its strategy.

"Our adversaries can adopt to terrorist or terrorism like strategies against our forces, since it is a low cost option. We need to modify our own strategies as we are seeing the results happening in other places of the world," Chief of Army Staff General J J Singh told reporters here.

General Singh, who was here to witness the exercise that would "validate new weapons and theories in war like simulation" emphasized: "As you have seen in asymmetric warfare, you need soldiers on ground. You need foot soldiers to remove terrorists from their hideouts."

But this requires a synergy of the army with the Indian Air Force (IAF) or the Navy as the situation warrants, and the exercise is an effort to achieve "a well integrated joint force".

The Army has inducted cutting age new devices in recent years to facilitate communication and networking between the different units for bringing real time decision during the war like situation.

"There is total transparency now," Lt General P.K. Singh, who heads the newly created South Western Command said, while describing the Command Centre's real time monitoring of its every soldier inside the enemy territory during wars and directing them order instantly through satellite communication, GPRS.

Twenty-five thousand soldiers of the Indian Army are carrying out this core level exercise in tandem with the Indian Air Force in the deserts of Rajasthan that began on Sunday.

Advanced surveillance system, including UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and night vision devices like TISA, LOROS are being used at the exercise. he army has been keen to reduce time to mobilise troop deployment from its peace positions to frontline positions, since during the 2001 Operation Prakaram it took the Army three weeks to deploy troops along the India-Pakistan border.

The army for whom the network centric operation is a "grey area" has validated new communication equipment during this exercise and has found them successful.

"We can deliver and have no doubts," said Lt Gen P K Singh adding, "We will refine further".

The exercise is being carried out in approximately 1200 square km area stretching from Bikaner in south to Suratgarh in north, and have the backdrop of a Nuclear- Biological- Chemical (NBC) warfare with close to 120 Russian T-90 and T-72 tanks moving along with 15 Main Battle Tank Arjun.

ANI

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