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South Western Command

By early 2005 the Army worked to restructure formations based along the Indo-Pak border to carve out the new South-Western Command to bolster strike capabilities. The Army was working to establish the new operational command, the South-Western Command, to operate in conjunction with the Udhampur-based Northern Command and Chandimandir-based Western Command. With the formation ofthe South-Western Command there are six operational command, and the seventh major command is Army Training Command (ARTRAC).

Sources disagree as to the composition of South Western Command. Jane's World Armies, Issue 19, 2006, p.319, reports that XII Corps, composed of 4 Armd Bde, 340 Mech Bde, 11 Inf Div (Ahmedabad), and 12 Inf Division (Jodhpur), were allocated to South Western Command, and that IX Corps was allocated to Western Command, with 26 Inf Div (Jammu), 29 Inf Div (Pathankot), 2,3,16 Ind Armd Bdes. Bharat Rakshak reports that IX Corps [Rising Star] was allocated to South Western Command [apparently from Nothern Command], and that Southern Command retained XII Corps in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. One local news source reported August 08 2008 that the IX corps fell under the Army Western Command.

South-Western Command is in charge of the area extending from Abohar-Fazilka in Punjab to Ranjitsinh Pura in the Jaisalmer-Bikaner sector. The Army redeployed troops without the recruitment of more personnel. The area between Abohar-Fazilka and Jammu was to be looked after by the Chandimandir-based Western Command, and the area south of Ranjitsinh Pura, that includes the Desert Corps, came under the Pune-based Southern Command.

As of mid-2004 the proposed formation of the South Western Command was awaiting financial concurrence from the government. In an indication of the growing confidence levels between India and China, the Army Headquarters planned to restructure its six commands and convert Central Command into a purely logistics formation, but this did not happen. The Army considered taking the Mathura-based 1 Strike Corps from the Allahabad-based Central Command and placeed it under South-Western Command to look after the semi-arid terrain, but in the end the Strike Corps remained under Central Command. A key strike formation under the Central Command was to be moved to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indo-Tibet border was to be left to the Shashastra Sena Bal, with the 33 Corps in Siliguri guarding the Cooch Behar corridor. In times of conflicts, the Central Command was to coordinate with the Avadhi-based heavy vehicles factory for tanks, the Peroleum Ministry for fuels and lubricants, and the Civil Supplies Department for its troops and machinery.

The Finance Ministry also showed indifference to the 2004 Defence Ministry proposal for a North-Western Command. The Finance Ministry was reported to have given its clearance to the Army for streamlining its Nagrota-based 16 Corps by creating another 17 Corps, to guard the chicken-neck area in Akhnoor-Chhamb sector, but this did not happen, it seems.

The Indian Army announced the creation of its new command known as South Western Command with its Headquarters at Jaipur, which formally came into being on April 18, 2005. Lt. Gen K Nagraj became its first GOC-in-C. "Future battle will be characterised by the synergic employment of all Arms and Services across the entire spectrum of conflict in a nuclear, biological and chemeical (NBC) backdrop. Jointmanship, interdependence, interoperability and compatibility among the Services shall remain key battle-winning factors. It is with this in focus that the Indian Army restructured to create its seventh command, namely South Western Command", said Chief of the Army Staff, Gen JJ Singh while giving his consent to the formation sign for the newly raised South Western Command.

The South Western Command with headquarters at Jaipur is poised to bolster the capabilities of Indian Army, especially on the western frontiers. The inaugural ceremony was held with much fanfare and enthusiasm at Gothic Lines, Jaipur Military Station. It saw the participation of a number of senior officials from Army. Lt Gen K Nagaraj has been appointed to head the command.

After the customary fanfare and general salute, the command flag was ceremoniously trooped in and blessed by Religious Teachers. The flag was, thereafter, hoisted by Lt Gen K Nagaraj. He also addressed the serving and retired personnel present on the occasion. He exhorted all ranks to play a key-role in the fulfilment of the objectives of the command. "Though we may be seventh in the precedence of rising but we shall ever be better than the best", he asserted.

The reallocation of forces to the South-Western Command from Northern Command and Western Command was not immediately apparent.
              CityLatitudeLong
SouthWestCom ____'N____'E

I Corps
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh2730'N7741'E

23rd Artillery BDE
U/I Location ____'N____'E

U/I Air Def BDE
U/I Location ____'N____'E

U/I Engineer BDE
U/I Location ____'N____'E

4 Infantry Division
Allahabad 2530'N8130'E

6 Mountain Division
Bareilly ____'N____'E

33 Armored Division
Hissar 2910'N7543'E

X Corps
Bhatinda3012'N7457'E

6th Ind Armored BDE
U/I Location ____'N____'E

U/I Artillery Bde
U/I Location ____'N____'E

16 Infantry Division
Gobindgarh 3041'N7618'E

18 RAPID
Kota 2516'N7723'E

24 RAPID
Bikaner 2815'N7636'E



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