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Salute to a Wing Commander
On 19 Dec 2011, Wg Cdr Vatsal Kumar Singh was detailed to fly a helicopter in a low level mission in the densely forested and heavily Naxal infested area, in support of the CRPF. The landing site was only a small clearing in the jungle with very tall trees around it and an undulating landing surface, which made the task even more difficult. After having completed two shuttles and having transported thirty commandos, while he was executing the third shuttle with seventeen persons on board, his helicopter was fired upon with automatic weapons from the left and below the aircraft. He immediately turned away from the probable direction of fire and gained height. After having ascertained that all aircraft parameters were normal, he decided to return to base, i.e. Jagdalpur. Subsequently, the aircraft started experiencing severe vibrations and the entire cargo compartment was filled with the smell of burnt explosives. The severe vibrations made it extremely challenging to make sure that the helicopter does not go out of control with an any time possibility of an engine malfunction, Wg Cdr VK Singh kept his calm and controlled the helicopter with his professional acumen and flying skills. He reduced the speed and minimised the vibrations and kept a close vigil on the vital engine parameters. His calm and controlled composure and exceptional courage ensured that he tracked every event in the helicopter meticulously and brought seventeen men and the machine to safety, in an extremely professional manner after flying for forty long and demanding minutes. In recovering the helicopter and personnel on board from the precarious situation in the face of intense danger and imminent threat to life, he showed exceptional courage and flying skills of the highest order. For this exceptional display of courage, inspirational leadership and composure under adverse conditions, Wing Commander Vatsal Kumar Singh has been awarded Shaurya Chakra.
Manekshaw vs Sarin
The tales from yester years ... On a rather warm day the Defence Secretary, Harish Sarin, a powerful civil servant, on entering the Ministry’s conference room is said to have told a Colonel sitting near a window, “You there, open that window!” Before the Colonel could get up came a sharp “Sit down” from Sam Manekshaw, who had just entered the conference room from another door. Turning to the Defence Secretary, he said, “Mr. Secretary, don’t you ever address my Officers in that tone of voice. You may however say,“Sam, would you please open that window, and I will open the window for you. That Officer you called out to is a Colonel, and not ‘You there’.” Harish Sarin mumbled something to the effect that he didn’t mean it that way, to which Sam replied, ”I don’t care how you meant it. I heard it & didn’t like it.
Robert Whiting in Paris
Robert Whiting, an elderly US gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, Monsieur ?" the Customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously."Then you should know enough to have your passport ready." The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it." "Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!" the Customs officer sneered. The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look. Then he quietly explained ... " Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach, at 4:40am, on D-Day in 1944, to help liberate your country, I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to. ... "
Charles DeGaule could not respond!
JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when Charles DeGaule, the French President, decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible. Rusk responded "does that include the 180,000 who are buried here ?" DeGaule could not respond.
Manekshaw in Gujrat
Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw once started addressing a public meeting at Ahmedabad in English. The crowd started chanting, "Speak in Gujarati. We will hear you only if you speak in Gujarati." Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw stopped. Swept the audience with a hard stare and replied, "Friends, I have fought many a battle in my long career. I have learned Punjabi from men of the Sikh Regiment; Marathi from the Maratha Regiment; Tamil from the men of the Madras Sappers; Bengali from the men of the Bengal Sappers, Hindi from the Bihar Regiment; and even Nepali from the Gurkha Regiment. Unfortunately there was no soldier from Gujarat from whom I could have learned Gujarati."
An equidistant map of the world
An equidistant map of the world centered on Delhi. Showing true bearings and distance from Delhi. Scale 1 : 45 5 00 000, Projection: Lambert Azimuthal Equidistant (Oblique Aspect), Origin: Delhi, Latitude 28°35’N, Longitude 77°13’E. Read off the value on the graduated circle to get the true bearing to the nearest degree, of well known places radially from Delhi. Examples: True bearings from Delhi to San Francisco, Tokyo, Cape Town and Moscow are 015°, 065°, 226°, and 325°, respectively. Excerpted from: Transition to Guardianship: The Indian Navy 1991-2000
Siachen: The Highest Battlefield
Indian Defence Review salutes each and every Indian Soldier, alive, or who died fighting and winning against Pakistan, at the Siachen - the world's highest battlefield. The recent proposal by Pakistan, to make 'Siachen', into a 'No Man Zone' should never be considered. It would be an Insult, and a mockery of the Indian Men in Arms.
The NDA Dining Hall
At the entrance of the Dining Hall of National Defence Academy Khadakwasla, there is a table set for one, with the chair tilted forward. This table is set for the Armed Forces Personnel who are Prisoners of War and forgotten, in the hope that they will return one day.
The 61 Cavalry
Only serving mounted Cavalry Regiment in the world. Regiment has 3 squadrons – each of Jat, Rajput & Khem Khani Muslims. Unit was all set to disband after independence, but Pandit Nehru wanted to keep a piece of history alive within the Army – hence the 61 Cavalry was retained.
Polo Vista : Pune
Pune, one of the oldest cantonments, was established in 1818. The landmark bungalow ‘Polo Vista’ at 22 Queen’s Garden overlooking the polo grounds, is the Army Commander’s residence. Built between 1886 and 1889 on three and a half acres, it was initially numbered as 12 Queen’s Garden. The Bungalow was constructed by Ramchandra Naik and was first hired out in 1889 to Major General Pottinger. In 1928, it was purchased by the Indian Military Department for a princely sum Rupees 74,408 and renumbered as 22 Queen’s Garden. It has been the residence of the General Office Commanding-in-Chief since 1917, the longest for any appointment house in India. The Command House has a driveway around the circular front lawn. With flooring of Burma teak, the ground floor has the drawing room, the dining room and a pantry. The three other rooms are used as the study and residence of the ADC. On the first floor are the study, the master bedroom and guest rooms. This House has seen 38 Army Commanders, 12 British and 28 Indian. Today, its old world charm and ambience are reminiscent of an era gone by.
Dare Devils during the demonstration to the team from Guinness World Records - 251 men on 11 Motor Cycles covering a distance of 240 meters on 11 June 2008.
Rajputana Rifles in Tunisia, 1943
Machine Gun Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles in action in Tunisia, 1943. In the Second World War, the battalions of the Regiment has convincingly defeated seemingly invincible German and the Japanese, in all the trials of the combat, in every single theatre of the war. In the process, they had claimed as many as fifty battle honours and the officers and men of the Regiment had decorated with two VCs and well over a hundred other gallantry awards.
Firing practice on moving targets
The Infantry School, Mhow (MP), is the repository of Infantry’s tactical doctrines, drills, procedures and standards of skills at arms. The School is systematically grooming the Junior Leaders to enable them to handle various combat situations in a professional manner.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at Zojila
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru being shown Zojila by Lieutenant Colonel Sukhdev Singh, Commanding Officer 1st Patiala
The Saviour of the Valley
When Pakistan invaded J&K in 1947, the hopelessly out numbered State Forces were stretched to the limit. Just six battalions were then guarding a state that is now defended by over three Corps. A critical situation developed on 22 October 1947, when the raiders broke through at Domel and the road to Srinagar lay wide open. Brig Rajinder Singh was the Chief of Staff of the J&K State Forces. There were no reserves left. He personally gathered a company column from Srinagar and sallied forth to stop the invaders. He fought a gallant and fierce rearguard action. Ultimately he succeeded in blowing up the vital Uri Bridge. He was killed in the fighting but managed to gain the critical 48 hours in which the Indian Army was able to fly in and save the Valley. Brig Rajinder Singh is thus the true savior of Kashmir. He was posthumously awarded the first Maha Vir Chakra of Independent India.
MARCOS, Indian Navy
MARCOS (previously named as Marine Commando Force (MCF) is an elite special operations unit of the Indian Navy. Like the US Navy Seals, the Indian Marcos are especially trained to execute covert operations. MARCOS" is short for "Marine Commandos". Today in world ranking of elite forces in top ten Indian Marcos rank seventh.