M A I N   N E W S

Be ready for unconventional war
Parliamentary Panel tells Defence Ministry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 13
Amidst the climate of heightened security threat and tension between the two South Asian nuclear neighbours, a parliamentary committee has asked the Defence Ministry to be prepared for unconventional war.

“Due to changing security environment the threat of non-conventional-nuclear, biological and chemical-war has increased. The country, therefore, should be well prepared to meet any eventuality in case of such an attack,” said Mr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Chairman of the standing committee on defence.

The report said the Armed Forces Medical Services “should re-look into our special preparedness and take all steps to deal with such situations more effectively.”

“Proper equipment and training should be provided to troops and bio-medicine developed in this area,” it said.

The ministry informed the committee that to provide medical cover to nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) scenario, simplified and standardised treatment protocols had been evolved for prompt and effective NBC casualty management.

It said the troops in the forward areas were equipped with minimum individual protective equipment and trained in mitigation techniques, de-contamination drills and for evacuation of casualties to the hospitals.

One quick reaction medical team per command and one for Delhi have been earmarked and equipped for NBC-related disasters to work with quick reaction teams.

The Air Force Institute for NBC Protection located in Delhi also conducts training programme for all service personnel of the Air Force and these trained people go back to their units and disseminate the knowledge and skills for NBC protection.

The AFINBCP also trains medical officers and para-medical staff on the treatment of NBC casualties and these trained personnel impart acquired knowledge at peripheral units, the ministry said.

The committee criticised the lopsided posting at command hospitals at the cost of field units.

“The actual strength of doctors posted in command hospitals is much more than the authorised strength. There is more than 20 per cent deficiency of the doctors in field units in relation to the authorised strength,” the report said.

The committee said it was “not inclined to accept the reasons given by the DGAFMS that it was a peace time formation and during war time these medical officers go back to the field units. Even during peace time, there should not be any deficiency of doctors in field units so that the troops receive adequate medical care and remain fit and healthy to take on any challenge there.”

It strongly recommended that the Defence Ministry should look into the matter and take urgent steps to post doctors at the field units as per the authorised strength.





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