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Central Command

Central Command is headquartered in Lucknow, responsible for the central sector of the Western border with Pakistan. 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 largely logistics formation. The Army took the Mathura-based 1 Strike Corps from the Allahabad-based Central Command and placed it under South-Western Command to look after the semi-arid terrain. 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.

Central Command celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas in 2000 with due solemnity and dignity. The day marked the first anniversary of successful conclusion of Operation Vijay launched in the wake of Pakistan aggression in Kargil. The theme of the day at the Central Command was inculcation of national and security awareness. A number of programmes were organised in UP, MP, Bihar and Orissa to recall the sacrifices of brave soldiers, Sailors and Airmen as also to reiterate the exemplary unity and sense of purpose displayed by the entire nation during the Kargil conflict.

Wreath-laying and candle lighting ceremonies were held at Smritika, the War Memorial at Lucknow Cantonment on the occasion, Besides the Governor of Uttar Pradesh Dr Suraj Bhan and Central Army Commander, Lt Gen Surjit Singh, many senior serving and retired officers of the Army and Air Force paid their homage to the martyrs of operation Vijay. Among the invitees to the solemn ceremony were next of kin of martyrs including the parents of martyr Capt Manoj Pandey, a recipient of Param Vir Chakra. The awardees were given a special place of honour during the ceremony. The Airmen paid tribute to the valour of service martyrs by carrying out a fly-past with three MIG-21 aircraft flying in 'Missing Boy' formation. A pictorial exhibition on the operation Vijay was also organised. Wreath-laying, candle lighting ceremonies, defence exhibitions and pictorial exhibition was organised at major military stations in the states of UP, MP, Bihar and Orissa.

Out of 523 soldiers who sacrificed their lives during operation Vijay, 172 hailed from UP, 9 from MP, 20 from Bihar and 7 from Orissa. Speaking on the occasion, the Army Commander, expressed his gratitude to all the government and non-government organisations that had instituted schemes for rehabilitation and relief for families of the martyrs. The occasion reminded everyone of the patriotism and deep sense of solidarity that the entire nation displayed during the Kargil conflict.

In May 2001, India undertook its largest and most successful military exercises in 14 years. Codenamed Poorna Vijay(Complete Victory), the exercise aimed to train troops to face nuclear, biological and chemical weapons strikes. They also dovetailed the considerable capabilities of the Indian Air Force in launching fighter ground attack missions and deep insertion of airborne and helicopter-borne Army units. The Central command was in charge of the Corps-level exercise involving an entire corps of about 50,000 men, 1000 battle tanks and batteries of artillery backed by about 120 warplanes(fighter, transport aircraft and helicopters) from the IAF air bases at Bhatinda, Nal, Naliya, Uttarlai and Bhuj, among others. This was the first time after Exercise Brass Tacks that the Army and the Air Force had carried out EWT (exercises with troops) at a Corps level.

The movement of armored units is always closely watched because they are perceived to be assault forces in times of conflict in the plains. In 2001, the 1 corps concluded its exercise by May 11. That exercise, codenamed "Poorna Vijay" was crucial to the military's strategic objectives because it factored in moves in the event of a nuclear strike and for a nuclear strike.

As of early 2002 the Northern Command units had been joined by Central Command's I Corps Strike Force consisting of three divisions.

CentComLucknow 2651'N8055'E
I CorpsMathura, Uttar Pradesh2730'N7741'E
23rd Artillery BDEU/I Location ____'N____'E
U/I Air Def BDEU/I Location ____'N____'E
U/I Engineer BDEU/I Location ____'N____'E
4th Infantry DivisionAllahabad 2530'N8130'E
31st Armored DivisionU/I Location ____'N____'E

6 Mountain Division
Bareilly 2821'N7225'E

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:42:05 ZULU