JAMMU, Jan 12: Northern Command chief Lt Gen DS Anbu today operationalised a highly skilled force of the Army named “Avalanche Panthers, Mountain Rescuers” at Siachen Glacier, the highest battle field in the world located at the height of 18,500 feet from sea level having strategic borders with Pakistan.
The highly skilled force was launched during Northern Command chief’s visit to Siachen Glacier.
Official sources said the force has in-depth knowledge, adaptability with local terrain and weather condition and has the capability to respond in the shortest possible time for rescue operations, especially in the glaciated terrain.
“The team, raised at Siachen base camp, comprised mainly the troops from Ladakh Scouts, who being the `sons of the soil’ are well adapted to terrain and weather conditions prevalent in the high altitude region,” sources said.
Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat was scheduled to visit Siachen Glacier on January 5 but had to defer his visit due to bad weather conditions. He had visited Northern Command in Udhampur and other Army formations before the weather turned hostile prompting him to cut short his visit.
Sources said the “Avalanche Panthers, Mountain Rescuers” forces has been equipped with latest gadgetry and would be able to respond within no time to respond and deal with any kind of situation at the Siachen Glacier.
During past couple of years, the Defence Ministry has been focusing very heavily on security and requirements of the Army soldiers at Siachen Glacier. A series of measures have already been taken to provide modernized weaponry and meet requirements of the troops deployed at the Glacier, where temperatures dipped to several degrees and weather turned hostile many a times.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen DS Anbu reviewed operational preparedness of the Army and security situation in Ladakh, which has boundaries with Pakistan and China, in his meeting with Leh based 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen PJS Pannu.
Apart from Pannu, other senior Commanders of the Army were also present in the meeting, who gave detailed briefing on security situation to the Northern Command chief. Lt Gen Pannu also accompanied the Northern Army Commander to the Siachen Glacier.
Sources said entire gamut of the security situation along Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh sector was reviewed at the high level meeting. The infrastructural requirements of the troops in the highly rugged mountains in Ladakh were also reviewed, they added.
While the LoC with Pakistan in Leh and Kargil is calm for many years, very few transgressions (far less than what they were about 2-3 years back), have been reported from LAC with China in Eastern Ladakh sector. The Sino-Indian troops have two Border Meeting Points (BMPs) along un-demarcated LAC in Eastern Ladakh, where they meet regularly and resolve the issues, if any, between them.
The LAC with China has gradually been peaceful.
According to sources, the Northern Army Commander visited some forward posts of Siachen Glacier and inter-acted with the troops at forward posts in super high altitude. He boosted morale of the Army officers and jawans and appreciated the work being done by them in challenging conditions and inhospitable terrain.