The Armed Forces In Peacetime

- January 11, 2021


By Vaneeta Vaid

The primary role of the Armed Forces is to defend the nation against external aggression. Success in war comes to those who are well equipped and trained. The Armed Forces, therefore, constantly train themselves so that they are better prepared than the adversary for any eventuality.

Illustration: Durgesh Velhal

India has very long borders which mostly do not follow geographic features. Most of our borders are active and conflict-prone due to difference in perception with our neighbours. In order to guard these active borders, especially in mountainous and inhospitable terrain, the Army remains deployed to thwart recurring encroachment attempts and to battle relentless ceasefire violations. The Air Force and the Navy remain in a state of readiness to respond to any impending air or sea threats to our country.

Armed Forces units and formations, stationed in peace locations, follow a rigorous training routine which include physical and weapon training, arms/equipment repair and maintenance tasks, in order to remain operationally ready. Regular two-sided exercises and war games in which various defensive and offensive scenarios are enacted, are undertaken to validate and update operational plans and bathe procedures. Logistic planning and preparation for operations and contingencies are also undertaken.

Illustration: Ghanshyam Bochegeri

The Armed Forces are called upon to assist in times of internal disorders and calamities both natural and man-made such as floods, earthquakes etc. On December 26, 2004, when a devastating tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean submerging islands, destroying coastlines and taking thousands of lives, the Air Force and the Navy swung into action carrying out rescue missions and transporting medical and food supplies to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The recent floods in Jammu & Kashmir saw men from the Armed Forces deployed in rescuing hundreds of people from the fury of the rising water.

The Armed Forces are also called upon to restore peace and order during internal strife and unrest. The Indian Navy by patrolling the waters, guards the international shipping corridors in the Indian Ocean against the threat of piracy and terrorism.

Illustration: Rakesh C.S.

Apart from securing the nation against external and internal threats, the Indian Army has been involved in nation-building initiatives too through multifaceted activities such as laying bridges, providing medical facilities, running educational and vocational training, etc., for common people especially in inaccessible areas of J&K and the north-eastern states.

When mandated, the Armed Forces also participate in conflict prevention in neighbouring countries as during Operation Pawan in Sri-Lanka (1987) and Operation Cactus in the Maldives (1988).

The Armed Forces also participate in peace-keeping missions of the United Nations under the UN Flag.

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