JAMMU, Aug 9: Two General Officers Commanding (GOCs), posted in Jammu and Kashmir including Jammu based 16 Corps head Lt Gen RR Nimbhorkar and Leh based 14 Corps chief Lt Gen SK Patyal are being shifted to very prestigious postings in New Delhi even as Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Army Headquarters today formally cleared the posting of Lt Gen Surinder Singh as Western Army Command chief, whose charge was being looked after by Lt Gen JS Cheema after the retirement of Lt Gen KJ Singh on July 31.
The posting of Lt Gen Surinder Singh as new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-Chief) Western Command, which controls three prestigious districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua in Jammu region, was exclusively reported by the Excelsior on July 28.
Highly placed sources told the Excelsior that the Army Headquarters has formally cleared the posting of Lt Gen Surinder Singh as the new Commander of the Western Army. He was expected to take charge of his new posting shortly.
Presently, he heads Sukhna (Darjeeling) in West Bengal based 33 Corps, which looks after the area of North Bengal, Sikkim and, if needed, Bhutan.
The previous Western Army Commander Lt Gen KJ Singh had relinquished charge of the Command on July 31 after completing his services. However, in the absence of any formal order from the Army Headquarters on the appointment of Lt Gen Surinder Singh as new Commander, Lt Gen JS Cheema had been looking after charge of the Command. Lt Gen Surinder Singh is likely to take over charge of the Western Command on the next few days.
According to sources, the Army Headquarters has also cleared the appointment of Lt Gen RR Nimbhorkar, GOC Nagrota-based 16 Corps as Master General Ordnance (MGO).
A prestigious posting at Army Headquarters, the MGO looks after all armament, ammunition, vehicles etc. He will replace Lt Gen Ravi Thodge, who had retired last month and since then the post was lying vacant.
Lt Gen SK Patyal, who heads Leh based 14 Corps, is being posted as Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI), a very significant posting as he would head the Army’s Intelligence wing. Lt Gen Patyal’s Corps was looking after Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Eastern Ladakh apart from LoC with Pakistan while Lt Gen Nimbhorkar’s 16 Corps had successfully managed the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri and didn’t allow any infiltration attempt to take place from the LoC from Pakistan side.
Lt Gen Patyal will replace Lt Gen KG Krishna, who had also retired on July 31.
Sources said the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters was expected to take decision on the postings of GOC 14 and 16 Corps in Jammu and Kashmir in the next few days so that the new Generals were in place before the incumbents head to New Delhi to take charge of new postings.
Lt Gen DR Soni, an Armoured Corps officer, who till a fortnight ago was commanding the Bathinda-based 10 Corps is set to be heading the Shimla-based Army Training Command (ARTRAC).
He will replace ARTRAC commander Lt Gen PM Hariz, who will head the Southern Army Command from September 1, replacing Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, who has been appointed as the next Vice-Chief of the Army vice Lt Gen MMS Rai, who will retire by the end of this month.