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Bangladesh Army Arms Histories

Bangladesh Infantry Regiment is composed of former East Bengal Regiment units and newly raised Bangladesh Infantry Regiment units. Bangladesh Infantry Regiment is the only regiment raised after the Independence of the country. As this Regiment was raised in the new millennium, the Bangladesh Infantry Regiment is also called as “Regiment of the Millennium.” British "Defence Industry" magazine reported that Bangladesh had purchased 140 armored personnel carriers, all having been received by 2010.

On 15 February 1948, the most glorious chapter of Bengal's military history was initiated. On this day, the East Bengal Regiment was raised at Kurmitoia, Dhaka under the prudent leadership of late Major Abdul Ghani. This auspicious occasion provided an identity that would sustain through all crises and generate pride in millions of hearts for years to come. Two pioneer companies of Bengali Muslims had earned wide acclaim for their bravery during the World War-II both in British India and abroad. Subsequently, these two companies laid the foundation of the East Bengal Regiment. This historic regiment is now one of the vital organs of Bangladesh Army.

The glorious chapter of this regiment may be attributed to two major events of military history of this subcontinent. In a rare feat of battle showmanship, the fearless'tigers'of the regiment as they are popularly called, inflicted unprecedented damage and casualties on the Indian side in the Indo-Pak War of 1965. In recognition of their sacrifices, the 1 East Bengal Regiment was awarded the highest number of gallantry awards. The performance was only to be repeated six years later.

During the War of Liberation in 1971, the same unit bagged the highest number of gallantry awards for their outstanding feat. As a whole, the regiment excelled itself with 2 out of 7 'Bir Srestho Padak' the highest military award of Bangladesh. A total of 317 awards of different merits were also awarded to various members of the regiment. Another milestone was added when a total of 24 infantry units was conferred with the National Standard for their exemplary role in defending sovereignty and providing selfless service to the nation.

Basing on the decision at the Formation Commanders’ Conference held on 30 June and 01 July 1999, Bangladesh Infantry Regiment and its Centre came into being. Accordingly a small contingent from The East Bengal Regimental Centre came to Rajshahi Cantonment on 28 November 1999 and took over all establishments from the Army School of Physical Training and Sports. Thereafter, this centre started functioning on adhoc basis with effect from 20 January 2000. The 1st batch of recruits started their training on 04 June 2000. From 01 January 2002 Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre Records has also started functioning.

Bengalee officers and soldiers were an enviable asset to the Armoured Corps of Pakistan for their skill and efficiency. During the war of independence in 1971, 2 officers, 6 Junior Commissioned Officers and 48 soldiers of the Armoured Corps embraced martyrdom. After independence, in 1972 the 1st Bengal Lancer was raised with the freedom fighters and Bengalee soldiers of 29 Cavalry of the then Pakistan Army at Dhaka Cantonment. This was the first tank regiment of Bangladesh Army. The requirement of a modern armored corps necessitated the creation of few more tank regiments thus converting the armored corps into a highly competent and credible combat force that it is today.

The Armoured Corps Centre & School is called as “HOME OF ARMOUR”. This institution provides basic and advanced training to officers, junior commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers of armoured corps. This institution was raised on 01 Oct 1977 at Jahangirabad Cantonment of Bogra district. Thereafter, it was shifted to present location on 11 March 1979. Initially ,this institution functioned as an adhoc organisation with limited training facilities. With the passage of time and process of development, this institution has bloomed as a composite training institution. This institution has splendid indoor technical training facilities on versatile arms, armament and heavy vehicle like Tank and APC. This institution also conducts outdoor tactical and tank driving exercises for trainee. Recently installed composite simulator on tank driving and firing has added a new dimension on overall training facilities of the institution. Overseas Students also joins in various courses run by this institution.

The nucleus of Bangladesh Artillery Corps took shape during the War of Liberation and began its journey on 22 July of that year. This force comprised of freedom loving youths, Bengalee officers and jawans of the then Pakistan Army. The Artillery batteries continuously provided support to the freedom fighters throughout the Liberation War. The first Artillery unit, called the 'Mujib Battery', played a praiseworthy role during the Liberation War. The undaunted and steadfast morale of its personnel provided the ultimate impetus to victory. In recognition of their bravery, patriotism and ultimate sacrifice, some 16 members of the corps were given gallantry awards of different merits. In all, 121 members of this corps embraced martyrdom. The corps began its operation with six cannons and one field battery during the freedom struggle. Today, it is a force to reckon with consisting of a number of units. The Regimental Centre and School of the corps received the National Standard on the 18th of November 1982 as a symbol of trust placed upon it in defending national independence and sovereignty.

The history of the Corps of Engineers of Bangladesh Army dates back to the Bengal Sappers and Pioneers of British Imperial Army from where it originated. The highest gallantry award 'Bir Sreshtho' was posthumously awarded to Captain Mohiuddin Jahnagir of this Corps. During the War of Liberation in 1971, some 5 officers and 82 other ranks embraced martyrdom for their country. After the War of Liberation, the corps was reorganised and later expanded. Engineers have been playing a vital role for the last decade in all spheres of national activities and in times of national emergencies like natural calamities and disasters of great magnitude. Corps of Engineers of Bangladesh Army is engaged in various construction projects both at home and in UN peace keeping missions. Corps of Engineers of Bangladesh Army is working very successfully in demining operations at Operation Kuwait Punorgothon since 1991.

The corps contributed its might in the over all nation building activities. Various units were employed in the development projects apart from the activities during national calamities. The Sakhipur-Gorai Road in Tangail, Chiringa-Alikadam Road in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Gumati Bund, Sirajgonj Town Protection Project, Godagari embankment, Dhaka City Flood Protection Bund are some of the major works undertaken by the sappers. Beside these to improve the road communication in Chittagong Hill Tracts area Engineer Construction Battalion were raised.

During the time of reorganisation of the Bangladesh forces in 1971, the Supreme Commander felt the necessity of restructuring the signal units to suit the need of time. This resulted in the formation of sector-wise Brigade Signal Companies. Initially three such companies were constituted with signallers from Army, Navy, Air force and the then East Pakistan Rifles (presently Bangladesh Rifles). The newly born brigade signal companies were attached to the No 1, 2 and 8 sectors with battalion headquarters at Mujibnagar. From the time of independence, the Signal Corps has achieved a commendable standard for its significant role in all spheres of military and national affairs. The Signal Corps today has been able to provide assured communication to the army through professional competency and with support of quality standard equipment.

Army Aviation was raised as Army Aviation Flight on 01 January 1978. Subsequently, it was up graded to Army Aviation Squadron on 07 September 1979, Army Air Regiment on 15 July 1980 and finally to the present outfit i.e. Army Aviation on 27 November 1995. A few officers with limited flying background (ex. Pakistan Air Force Cadets) were selected by AHQ and given basic flying training in Bangladesh Flying Club. Initially, there was no aircraft in the fleet except a non operational Hiller helicopter left out by Pakistan Army. In 1978, Bangladesh Army received two Augusta Bell 205 helicopters from Republic of Iran as donation. Later on, all these helicopters were sold out by Army. In 1982, for the first time, Army procured 4xCessna-152A aircrafts from USA. In December 1983, Army procured a twin engine aircraft named Piper Cheyenne PA 31T1 for carrying VIPs. After a long gap of about 20 years, Army has inducted 3 x Bell 206 L4 helicopters and a utility fixed wing (FW) aircraft named Cessna Grand Caravan in the Army Aviation fleet in 2001-2002. Recently, in 2007 the institution has also received one Bell 206 L-4 helicopter. It is worth mentioning that today Army Aviation has really made a big stride towards its envisioned goal of becoming an operational outfit of the Army.

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Page last modified: 23-05-2012 16:09:40 ZULU