Focus on China, Army moves key ‘strike’ elements to eastern Ladakh

Strike corps are trained to be first movers in case of conflict

Focus on China, Army moves key ‘strike’ elements to eastern Ladakh

The resources of the corps, which is headquartered at Mathura with ‘strike’ elements located across Indo-gangetic plains, has been tasked to the Northern Command.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26

To maintain a credible deterrence in eastern Ladakh, India has moved key elements of the Army’s “1 Strike Corps”, otherwise tasked westwards, to eastern Ladakh.

The resources of the corps, which is headquartered at Mathura with ‘strike’ elements located across Indo-gangetic plains, has been tasked to the Northern Command. These resources include armoured formations and infantry combat vehicles, besides troops. Without getting into specifics, sources said the 1 Strike Corps had already moved its elements to eastern Ladakh.

Besides the 1 Strike Corps, two other Strike Corps – headquartered at Ambala and Bhopal — face Pakistan. The strike corps are naturally trained to be first movers in case of conflict.

Since May last year, a standoff continues between the armies of India and China and there is no immediate chance of the April 2020 status getting restored along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

“There is lack of trust that exists among the armies of either side,” said sources. The Tribune had reported in its edition on July 26 how there has been no consensus on troop pullback. The move of the 1 Strike Corps to eastern Ladakh adds to the existing troop numbers for India.

China has been making infrastructure for accommodating troops, which is a clear indication that it is preparing itself for the long haul.

The first full-sized tank regiment — 45 tanks — moved to Ladakh a decade ago. The plateaus at 14,000 feet and more are interspersed in the folds of the major mountain ranges — the Greater Himalayas, Karokaram, Ladakh and Zanskar — are ideal tank country, flat with ample places to hide in the folds of the valleys.

During the 1962 India-China war, five of the US-built AMX-13 tanks were airlifted.

New Delhi’s decision of adding more tanks is based on China declared decision to practice rapid movements.

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