33 Armoured Division
The 33 Armoured Division had the distinction of having participated in Exercise Brass-Tacks (in the mid-1980s) and various other active deployments including Operation Parakram (after the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament). The formation has also contributed in combating insurgency in the Kashmir Valley, where its units has proven their mettle and gave a sterling account of themselves. Flood relief columns provided relief to marooned locals of Rohtak, Jhalawar, Bharatpur and Baran districts of Haryana and Rajasthan in 2001 and 2007.
An ex-servicemen (ESM) rally was organised in late 2004 as part of operation Sahayta by HQ 33 Armoured Division at Fatehabad, Haryana. The ESM rally was conducted by 4 Mechanised Infantry (1 Sikh). The aim of the rally was to provide a forum for interaction between GOC, 33 Armoured Division and ex-servicemen. This was the first time that such rally was held in Fatehabad district. Brig CS Thapa, officiating GOC, 33 Armoured Division addressed the rally and individually enquired about health, welfare and grievances of the ex-servicemen. Civil authorities were also present to entertain the complaints of ex-servicemen. The rally was attended by over 300 ex-servicemen and their dependents. A medical and dental camp was conducted as part of the rally. Medical aid to all participants was provided with specialist doctors in attendance.
An ex-servicemen rally was organised by HQ 33 Armoured Division at Hisar, Haryana in mid-2005. The aim of the rally was to provide a forum for interaction between GOC 33 Armoured Division and ex-servicemen. Maj Gen Rakesh Kumar Loomba, GOC, 33 Armoured Division addressed the rally and enquired ex-servicemen about their health individually. Their grievances were noted for follow-up actions. Civilian authorities were also present to attend the complaints of ex-servicemen. Over 10,000 ex-servicemen attended the rally. Medical aid to all participants was provided with all specialist doctors in attendance.
On June 29, 2006, the commander of the elite 33 Armoured Division, Major General BS Grewal, visited the Mahajan Ranges along with a colleague, Major General Shiv Jaswal. Both drove and fired the Arjun for the first time that day; the two rounds that each fired punched holes through targets almost two kilometres away.
Taking time off from his political meetings, on December 02 2006 visiting Jordan King Abdullah II Al-Hussein inspected an Indian armoured regiment -- the 1 Horse (Skinners Horse) -- at Hissar. Accompanied by Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju, the visiting dignitary witnessed a tactical action by tanks and other training activities of the armoured regiment. The Jordan King is the Honorary Colonel-in-Chief of the Light Dragoons, a British Cavalry Regiment which is affiliated with the 'Skinners Horse'. The King and Minister Raju were received by Maj Gen Ashok Sheoran, General Officer Commanding, and later accorded a guard of honour by the 'Skinners Horse'.
The Indian Army's elite 33 Armoured Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Ashok Sheoran, which has excelled in professional, sports and adventure activities, concluded its silver jubilee celebrations somewhere in the western sector on 15 November 2007. A number of professional and welfare activities were organised to commemorate the silver jubilee. These included flag hoisting at the historic venue of the division's raising, release of a First Day Cover, a para drop, a horse show, a dog show, a motorcycle display, hot air ballooning and a military band display. A number of civilian and military dignitaries attended the celebrations. They included Lt. Gen. P.K. Singh, who heads the Indian Army's South Western Command, and Lt. Gen. H.S Panag, who heads the Northern Command, as also six previous commanders of the division. A special guest on the occasion was Meera Sondhi, wife of the late Maj. Gen. L.B.S. Sondhi, who raised the division in 1982.
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