India Fast-Tracking New Troop Formations In North-East For China



With China's "assertive" behaviour showing no signs of abating, India is fast-tracking new troop formations for the North-East. Apart from the two new infantry divisions, this includes the interesting experiment of new Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts battalions.

Defence ministry officials said the two fresh infantry mountain divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, should be "fully-operational with specialised equipment" by next year. Similarly, the first battalion of Arunachal Scouts will be up and running by May 2011. 



While the new 56 Division has its HQ in Zakama (Nagaland) under the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, the 71 Division at Missamari (Assam) falls in the operational command of the Tezpur-based 4 Corps. Both the new formations are primarily tasked with the defence of Arunachal Pradesh.

"The two divisions are now virtually in place, with officers and soldiers already being posted for them. They are in process of getting new equipment, which includes armoured personnel carriers and light howitzers," said an official.

While this conventional troop-building continues, the experiment of Arunachal Scouts is also underway with the training of its first battalion beginning at Assam Regimental Centre at Shillong earlier this month.

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