Army gets new unit, five commanders

The Indian Army on Friday named five three-star officers to take over the charges of five commands besides announcing the formation of a new battalion, to look after a crucial sector along the Sino-Indian border.

The new battalion, Sikkim Scouts, will be a part of 11 Gorkha Rifles and will be raised in Lucknow. After nearly 50 years, a new battalion had been raised as part of the Gorkha Brigade, an army official said.

Rugged terrrain

Raised on the ‘Sons of Soil’ concept to guard the nation’s frontiers, Sikkim Scouts will permanently be located in the high altitude and rugged terrain of Sikkim.

The first of the five Ladakh Scouts units in Jammu and Kashmir was raised in 1973. They are Ladakh Scouts, Dogra Scouts, Garhwal Scouts, Kumaon Scouts and Arunachal Scouts, which are posted in areas closer to China border.

During the recent Chinese intrusion in Depsang valley in Jammu and Kashmir, a team of Ladakh Scouts was asked to set up camps across the Chinese camps and stay put as long as the Chinese are there.

Currently, there are 319 Sikkimese recruits in the battalion but the number will increase in future.

The five new Lt-Gen rank officers include Lt Gen Philip Campose, who will take over as the commander-in-chief of the western command and Lt Gen, Sanjiv Chachra, who will assume charge as commander-in-chief of northern command. Both will take over the new responsibility on July 1.

In addition, Lt Gen Sanjeev Madhok will be the new chief of Army Training Command in Shimla from June 1. Lt Gen Rajan Bakshi, who was heading 14 Corps in Leh during the Chinese intrusion, has now been promoted as army commander to take over as chief of Central Command on July 1.

On the same day, Lt Gen Anil C Chait will be the new head of Chief of Integrated Service Command.

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