Delta, Romeo Forces get new GOCs, N Command new CoS

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Mar 2: The Army Headquarters has ordered a major reshuffle in Jammu and Kashmir including transfer and postings of Chief of Staff (CoS) Northern Command, Headquartered at Udhampur and two General Officers Commanding (GOCs) of prestigious Delta Force and Romeo Force, which have their area of operation in sensitive militancy-infested and border districts of Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal ranges.
Reliable sources told the Excelsior that Lt Gen NPS Hira, Chief of Staff, Northern Command Headquarters, based in Udhampur, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Chief of Army in the Army Headquarters at New Delhi.
Lt Gen Hira will be replaced by Lt Gen G S Dhillon, presently posted as Director General of Military Intelligence.
Both the Generals (NPS Hira and GS Dhillon) have vast experience and distinguished services in the Army having held various significant postings.
Maj Gen SS Tinaikar has been posted as new GOC of Delta Force in place of Maj Gen Anand Singh, who has been transferred and posted to Infantry School Mhow.
The Delta Force has been deployed in Chenab Valley comprising three districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, where militants still have their presence. However, militancy has reduced considerably in these three districts, which were once dominated by the militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfits.
Though Doda district was nearly free of militancy, Kishtwar and Ramban still have presence of some militants and Over Ground Workers (OGWs).  In the recent past, Army has smashed several hideouts of the militants and recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition in these districts.
Maj Gen AK Sanyal, GOC Romeo Force of Rashtriya Rifles has been transferred and posted at Chandi Mandir near Chandigarh in Western Command Headquarters.
Maj Gen Yogendra Dimri will take over as new GOC of Romeo Force, which has its area of operation in parts of twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
The Romeo Force along with police had been instrumental in containing the menace of militancy in Rajouri and Poonch districts with elimination and arrest of several top militants. Though some militants of different outfits and Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were still active in the two districts, they were considerably lying low.
Major General N K Airy, presently posted as BGS in 16 Corps Nagrota on his elevation as Major General has been posted as GOC 39 Mountain Division, headquartered at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh.
He will replace Major General AP Singh, who has been transferred and posted to Army Training Command (ARTRAC) Shimla.
39 Mountain Division has been headquartered at Palampur but its units were based in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
“All top Army officers posted here will take over shortly,” sources said, adding they would be briefed by the outgoing officers on the situation prevailing in their areas of operation including the number of militants and Over Ground Workers active in their areas of jurisdiction, the route of infiltration from Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and all other militancy related aspects.
The Delta Force and Romeo Force are known as prestigious Army forces in Jammu region, which had operated in militancy-infested districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch and were instrumental in wiping out militancy from several areas and eliminating or arresting several hardcore militants of different outfits. The two forces have several times assisted the civil administration in maintenance of peace and tranquility.

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