CDS Bipin Rawat to review operational preparedness in Ladakh today
- Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is in East Ladakh sector today to review the tri-services preparedness against the aggressive People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as well as understand the proposed de-escalation and disengagement process at the four stand-off points. As an Army Chief, General Rawat stood up to Chinese PLA at Doklam plateau on India-Bhutan-China tri-junction for 73 days in 2017.
- While Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to go to western sector later, Gen Rawat will be briefed by the XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh and will take note of requirements on ground. As the first CDS of India, Gen Rawat has a strong bond with the troops as he is blunt and to the point.
- Although the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman on Thursday called for expeditious dis-engagement from the border, the de-escalation process will take time with the PLA not in the mood to walk the talk between the two governments on ground. Despite talking about peace and dis-engagement, the PLA troop withdrawal from Galwan, Gogra, Hot Springs and Pangong Tso will take a lot of time and serious persuasion.
- Faced with a recalcitrant adversary, the Indian Army and Air Force are fully deployed to prevent any further aggression from the PLA. The morale of the forces appears to be exceedingly high particularly after the June 15 flare-up at Galwan. “ We have no intentions of initiating any skirmish but any aggression from the other side will be fully repelled,” said a senior military commander.
- With temperatures in East Ladakh and Tibet well over 20 degree Celsius and high velocity winds sweeping the region, air operations in the area are a challenge with weight limits being imposed during take-offs particularly in Russian origin platforms. While IAF will use the air bases in the plains in the worst-case scenario, the PLA Air Force will have serious difficulty in operating from Tibetan Plateau. The coming days will also be a test of unproven Chinese air platforms, missiles and land systems as their battle worthiness has never been challenged.
PM Modi wraps up Ladakh visit with a swipe at China, says times have changed
- On a quiet visit to Ladakh designed to deliver a loud message to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told soldiers posted along the Line of Actual Control that the courage they had demonstrated had sent a message to the entire world. Addressing soldiers deployed in Ladakh, PM Modi said tales about their valour were being spoken in every house across the country.
- ‘The enemy has seen your fire and fury as well,’ PM Modi told the soldiers in an address telecast live from Ladakh to the country. PM Modi also referred to the violent clash between soldiers of India and China at Galwan on 15 June and paid his tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives.
- “From Leh, Ladakh to Siachen and Kargil…and Galwan’s icy waters…every mountain, every peak is witness to the valour of Indian soldiers,” PM Modi said. “You have given a befitting reply to people who attempted to conquer,” he told them before going on to deliver his direct message to China.
- PM Modi, 69, headed straight for his briefing by top military commanders at the XIV Corps headquarters at Nimu outside Leh. He had had similar briefings back in Delhi also.
- This time, PM Modi could see the Zanskar and the mighty Karakorams that he had been spotting on the maps during the briefings. He also interacted with the soldiers to give them pep talks and hear their perspectives before he came around to delivering his speech.
- His arrival in Leh had already delivered the first set of messages to Beijing. It also contrasts India’s approach to the standoffs along the Line of Actual Control to Chinese leadership’s efforts to signal a hands-off approach.
- The PM’s visit is also a very strong message to President Xi Jinping that either he gets his aggressive Western Theatre Commander Zhao Zongqi to restore status quo ante or accept the inevitable consequences of PLA escalation. The Indian Army and Chinese PLA are locked up at four points on the LAC in East Ladakh with the latter consolidating on ground while mouthing peace overtures.
Turkish defence minister, military chief visit Libya
- Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler have visited Libya on Friday to review the activities carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
- A military ceremony was held for the duo upon their arrival at the Mitiga International Airport in the capital Tripoli.
- Following the ceremony, Akar and Guler went to the Defence Security Cooperation and Training Assistance Advisory Command, which was created within the scope of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Libya.
- The two met with Turkish and Libyan soldiers, including Osama al Juwaili, the commander of the Operation Peace Storm.
- Akar reiterated Turkey’s support for Libyan people to ensure they live “comfortably, happier and more confidently”. “I want you to know that we are with you today and tomorrow and will do whatever it requires for our Libyan brothers under the instructions of our president,” Akar said.
- On November 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two MoUs; one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- The maritime pact asserted Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on December 8.
- Following the military cooperation deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara may consider sending troops to Libya if the UN-recognised Tripoli government made such a request.
Skies Clear for Mysuru Girl to Become State’s Second Woman Fighter Pilot
- Everyone has some or the other ambition or dream to achieve when they are in college but very few of them live their dreams or choose the career they wished. Mysuru-based Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa has achieved her childhood dream or call it passion to be a fighter jet pilot.
- She has been selected for the training and once she completes it, she will be a fighter pilot, a rare distinction for a woman who has her roots in Kodagu, a land of defence personnel. Though the district has achieved the fame of producing a Field Marshal, a General and innumerable Lieutenant Generals, Brigadiers and Majors in the Indian Army and their equal ranks in the Navy and the Air Force, it is for the first time a woman fighter pilot is emerging from the tiny district.
- In fact, she will be the only second woman from Karnataka to be a fighter jet pilot after Meghana Shanbough from Chikkamagalur and is the lone woman in her ongoing training course where there are 40 future fighter pilots.
- Last year, Punya became the only women cadet from Karnataka to be selected for the flying branch training at the Indian Air Force Academy. The training for cadets who are selected for the flying branch is divided into three stages. Punya has already completed the Stage-1 of her training at the Academy in Dundigal in Telangana and has been selected to join the fighter stream where she will undergo Stage-II training at Hakimpet, again in Telangana.
- The training stages are vivid and is a combination of adventure, skill and deft manoeuvring. They will be trained to engage in air-to-air combat, air-to-ground combat and sometimes electronic warfare while in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft. Fighter pilots undergo specialised training in aerial warfare and dogfighting (close range aerial combat).
- After Stage-II, Punya will be commissioned as an officer to undergo Stage-III training. She is likely to be commissioned as an officer in the next passing out parade in December. Punya has always wanted to join the fighter pilot stream and her childhood dream has been realised. A resident of Vijayanagar in city, Punya was selected as a Trainee Pilot of IAF Flying Branch last year.
- She is the daughter of Anuradha Nanjappa (a teacher at St. Joseph’s Central School) and late Coluvanda P. Bala Nanjappa (he was serving as the Manager of Prabha Theatre), native of Chambebellur in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu district.
- Punya completed her schooling at St. Joseph’s Central School in Vijayanagar, pursued her PUC at Vijaya Vittala PU College in Saraswathipuram and Engineering at NIE, Mysuru. Punya then took up Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) — an officer recruitment gateway in three branches of Air Force — Flying Branch (Short Service Commission only), Technical branch (Permanent and Short Service Commission) and Ground Duty Branch (Permanent and Short Service Commission).
- Turkish Defence Minister:
- Hulusi Akar
- Ziya Selçuk
- Berat Albayrak
- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
- Karnataka’s first woman pilot:
- Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa
- Meghana Shanbough
- Divya Ajith Kumar
- Bhawana Kanth
- Karnataka’s second woman pilot:
- Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa
- Meghana Shanbough
- Divya Ajith Kumar
- Bhawana Kanth
- Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa joined IAF through:
- NCC Special Entry
- UPSC CDSE Entry
- AFCAT entry
- None of the Above