• Thursday, December 01, 2022

INDIA

What India’s new chief of defence staff Gen Anil Chauhan said after taking charge

General Anil Chauhan took over as India’s second chief of defence staff in New Delhi on Friday, September 30, 2022. (ANI Photo)

By: PTI

General Anil Chauhan on Friday (30) became India’s new chief of defence staff (CDS) with a mandate to implement the ambitious theaterisation plan that aims to ensure tri-services synergy and prepare the armed forces for future security challenges facing the nation.

Gen Chauhan, a former Eastern Army Commander, took charge as the country’s senior-most military commander over nine months after the first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.

In a brief interaction with the media, Gen Chauhan said the security challenges facing the nation will be dealt with jointly by the three services. “I am proud to be assuming the responsibility of the highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces. I will try to fulfill the expectations from the three services and tackle all challenges and difficulties together,” he said.

He became the first retired three-star Lt General-rank officer to return to the service as a four four-star General.

Gen Chauhan will also be the principal military advisor to the Indian defence minister on all tri-service matters as well as head department of military affairs as its secretary.

He will also be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), the defence ministry said.

The CDS called on defence minister Rajnath Singh shortly after taking charge of the top office.

Before assuming charge of the CDS, Gen Chauhan paid tributes to India’s fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial.

His father Surendra Singh Chauhan was also present at the memorial. He was also accorded a tri-services guard of honour at the lawns of the South Block in the Raisina Hills in presence of army chief Gen Manoj Pande; chief of air staff air chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; and navy vice chief vice admiral SN Ghormade.

Gen Chauhan’s wife Anupama accompanied him when he took charge of the top office. Known as an expert on China, his appointment to the top post comes amid the lingering border row between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.

Sixty-one-year-old Chauhan will also function as the secretary in the department of military affairs.

He retired from service on May 31 last year when he was serving as the Eastern Army Commander.

After his retirement, he was serving as the military adviser to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) headed by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.

Gen Chauhan is known as a fine military commander who played a key role in enhancing India’s military preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim sectors during his tenure as the Eastern Army Commander. He was the director general of military Operations (DGMO) of the army during the Balakot air strikes in 2019 when Indian airplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan.

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