Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questions

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Ray, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Talk of command failure in army

    Pakistan intrusion raises questions


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    A soldier stands guard on Wednesday close to the LoC in Poonch where the Indian soldiers were ambushed. (Reuters)

    New Delhi, Aug. 7: The killing of five soldiers in an area they were supposedly dominating has raised questions of a command failure within the Indian Army.

    Violence is now the norm — not the exception — on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Only heavy artillery has not been reported to be used.

    Hours after the LoC killings on the night of August 5-6, on Tuesday (yesterday) afternoon, two more ceasefire violations were reported from Uri and Tangdhar — north of the Pir Panjal range but on the same frontage of about 120km on the western edge of the LoC — that has been lit up since early this year.

    Pakistan’s director of military operations telephoned and talked of the ceasefire violation with the Indian DGMO this morning.

    In the seven months since January, heads have been slit, the boundary has been crossed by shadowy armed figures as well as by soldiers, and small arms and even mortar fire is reported almost every third day. Such are the incidents that today characterise what is called a “ceasefire” that was agreed in November 2003.

    It was against this background that the Northern Army Command was instructed by the chief, General Bikram Singh, after the beheading of an Indian soldier and the killing of another on January 8, to be aggressive on the undefined boundary.

    Commanders were also authorised to take localised retaliatory action and adopt more intensive procedures to safeguard their own as well as to dominate their areas of responsibility.

    While it is impossible to physically deploy a chain of soldiers along the 790-kilometre-long Line of Control, commanders were asked to step-up surveillance using night-vision equipment and also keep mobile reinforcements ready to back up small patrols — such as the six-man team that was attacked.

    As the army chief, General Bikram Singh, reviewed what happened on the night of August 5-6 in the Poonch sector where, according to the army, Pakistani soldiers and militants raided territory inside the LoC that is supposedly dominated by the 21 Bihar battalion based at the Sarla Post, questions on operational lacunae are now being delved into.

    Bikram Singh was initially slated to visit the 93 Brigade headquarters in Poonch but weather and the urgency in New Delhi to report to a defence minister who continued to be pilloried inside and outside Parliament for the second day running, forced him to return after being debriefed at Akhnoor.

    The army chief was given a report of the incident — based on the account of Sepoy Sambhaji Kute, the lone survivor of the ambush, — and the commanders of the 21 Bihar, 93 brigade, 25 division, the 16 corps and the northern army commander — the entire chain of command.

    There is little doubt within the army that the attackers were militants accompanied by Pakistan army regulars. But what is being investigated now is how could such a potent force come nearly half-a-kilometre inside Indian territory unseen and unheard and ambush the patrol between the Indian Army’s Cheetah and Begum Posts, almost half-a-kilometre before the LoC but outside the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System, or the “fence”.

    The Indian Army patrol was clearly closely observed and their movements were mapped, maybe over several days. It was a professional hit-job inside, what is for the Pakistan Army, enemy territory.

    Since January, there have been, by the defence minister’s admission, 57 ceasefire violations — more than two every week — and 17 infiltration attempts by alleged militants. Also, the spot in Poonch where the five soldiers were killed is less than 40kms north of Mendhar, where the January 8 incident took place.

    For the Indian Army to be still taken by shock in a place at such close proximity to where two of their own were killed so gruesomely, means that the commands issued in January were wrong, or, if they were right, they were either not communicated, not understood, not implemented, or that the soldiers were not trained for the task they were asked to perform, or a combination of all of these factors.

    One former northern army commander who did not want to be named wonders why, if the army on the LoC is authorised to take punitive action, is kept second-guessing about the political fallout of deterrent military action.

    General Bikram Singh, who returned to Delhi this evening, was preparing a report for the defence minister. A.K. Antony is at the centre of a row on whether the attackers were Pakistani soldiers or killers in Pakistani army uniforms. He is likely to give his version — and clarify how his statement and the army’s —came to be different in Parliament tomorrow afternoon.

    Talk of command failure in army

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    I would not call it command failure.

    It is basically a failure of training.

    There are a plethora of courses these days that train the soldier and officers on all aspects of the army but what is actually lacking is the basic - field craft.

    The problem is that everyone from the bottom to the top are so ambition charged, mostly misplaced, they are hell bent of becoming Guderians even before they get their feet firmly on the ground.

    If one had seen the TV clip showing troops at the LC crawling up through the forest and then shooting, one would have seen that the crawling was done most haphazardly, totally lacking the knowledge how to use the ground and not taking cover or what is called 'ar pakr'.

    When one is to use his weapon, he should do so taking advantage of the ground and the trees to protect himself before firing so that he himself does not get shot in the retaliatory fire.

    In the TV clips, though there were trees, the man were firing in between the trees in the open and not taking cover of the tree and keeping just his head and the rifle out to shoot!

    It is very essential that the troops ar trained in battlefield situational awareness and and eye for the use of ground.

    IN the old pamphlet, 'Section Leading, Platoon Tactics', each type of section formation was explained and the task of each man of the section was detailed to include the arc (area) of his watch as he move forward. In the modern pamphlet, all this was missing!

    It is time to go back to the Basic and make training worthwhile and effective so that lives are saved.

    It is not for me to comment why these chaps got killed and the circumstances since it would not be fair as one was not on the spot, but the manner in which things are being informed in the open forum, there does appear that something is amiss as far as the basic training is concerned.

    Take a look at this:

    [​IMG]

    Is it an emplacement?

    What is its tactical import?

    I could not make it out. Hopefully someone can and let us know so that I am educated.

    If it is to protect the soldier standing behind, does the sandbag wall protect his body?

    So, what is it all about?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
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  3. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    I have few queries here in respect to the incident...

    There must be some sort of operating procedure while patrolling in such areas, as when any one from patrolling party is attacked the others must not be too close to each other so that to take some sort of repulsive action against the attackers... The whole party being ambushed is something to looked into...

    Are there no backup teams as follow-up once the forward patrolling team is under attack to provide the necessary fire support to the patrolling party under attack??

    May be I am totally wrong here...
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  4. davidbenjamin

    davidbenjamin Regular Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    why do we need to have patrols in a regular frequency.....this is not the first time we are ambushed. Can somebody explain what went technically wrong.

    what if we send in army in civilian uniform and kill some pak soldiers ?

    Why does our army wait for the political nod to do a cross border strike....cant they do it and never tell the govt that they ever did.
     
  5. davidbenjamin

    davidbenjamin Regular Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    In the jan 8 ambush, the soldiers in the patrol were too far, and hence soldiers behind could not react.

    In aug 6 patrol, there is talk that soldiers were too close...

    It looks like that the enemy is making us do what he thinks.....we need to be ahead of their thinking.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    The distance between men is dependent on the terrain and the visibility. All should be within eye contact.

    There are many drills that are there while patrolling like the Listening Drill, Obstacle crossing drill and so on.

    Patrolling should not be done as a routine.

    The timings and routes have to be different every time.

    The Route Out and the Route In cannot be the same.

    Then there is an counter ambush drill.

    There are a whole lot of drills that one has to learn and master and it becomes a second habit.

    In case of any untoward happening, there is the QRT as a backup for action and even extrication of a beleaguered lot.

    Regular patrolling is required to ensure that the enemy has not occupied the area or created some post of his own or put some booby traps and for Area Domination.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Regarding surveillance, Airborne element is very important such as various UAV which can be launch from the same area, Such as Netra drones which are locally available, Also there are many local companies making hi-res cameras with motion detecting software @sayareakd Sir,

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    Used by IA, But number are very small, The number of these haven't increased in force and there is now RFI launched.

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    Such incident also indicate lack of proper fire support missions via mortars, Soldiers, Surveillance and long range mortars can be coordinated together to suppress or trap terrorist, this which yet to be practiced, Also there is need for special rounds for mortars..

    Coming down to infrastructure, Which is very poor so fortification techniques, There are many units at CT areas, Homes are made from 'cardboards', Bunkers are made of dirt and fences are done with woods and mear a single layer of barb wires, A motivated terrorist can easily get through these obsiticals, Men at front lack basic concrete & steel infrastructure..

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    When these requirement are sent up at MOD, People there start to evaluate ' how much kickbacks they can get ' depend upon that the deals are cleared..

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    Graphic

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    PA regulars have been shot way inside Indian side before, this is nothing new and this editor is just using spices..

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    Terrorist adapt according to environment just like mosquitoes adapt with pesticides, They get training to cut electrical wires and de-mined areas as large portion of LOC cannot be held with chain of soldiers and lack of drones and UAVs so does sophisticated domestic cameras, they slip insides also they bring camera to record our petrol and their ambush, they record there kills and get back these recording back to there base and study them..

    This is also not very new, Its been going on for sometime..

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    @sir, I think training is fine perhaps finest the problem is the failure of Officers and JCOs to implement discipline accordingly this is common happening now days, Its the issue with the training with officers..

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    [​IMG]

     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    [​IMG]

    Just note: Some are taking the cover of the trees and some are not.

    so, if there is retaliatory fire, won't they die uselessly?

    Take the chap in the foreground.

    He is firing from the Left of the Tree, even though he is right handed.

    Would it not be better that he took the cover of the tree and fired from the right of the tree, with maximum of his body being behind the tree, presenting a smaller target?

    In fact, each solider is firing from the wrong side!

    Though the farthest chap, appears to be left handed, has cover of the tree!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
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  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    it is a temporary cover at a place where defences do not exist. Say in the gap or on patrolling route to take a cover in case of firing. Can you see the river behind the soldier.



    save one from firing from across.

    yes . when in lying position .

    So, what is it all about?[/QUOTE]

    defensive measures at places where defenses are not required or the first stage of the defenses.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    If so, does it cover the man, even temporarily?

    He is totally exposed.





    If it is temporary position, the man will have to run to it and so he requires a higher emplacement.

    If in that temporary position, it is for a permanent task (even for a short duration), it has to be done so that he is totally safe and not have all his body above the knee exposed.


    If it is to be defensive measure, it has to be able to cover the man.

    Even when one halts in advance to contact in the old days, the drill was to dig a shallow trench.

    So, when you have sandbag emplacement, it is not a temporary show since no one carries sandbags.

    One uses sandbags for bolstering defences.

    That is why I feel things are not adding up.

    Check the photo of soldiers using 'ar' that Kunal has posted above and my comments.

    I am bewildered there too!

    It goes totally against what we were taught on 'ar pakar'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
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  11. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Sir, there must be a reason there, That almost all are taking aim from left ..

    Though basics tells what you have suggested..

     
  12. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Now a days it appears that Pakistan has change their tactics, now they are coming inside our border and attacking our soldiers with ambush, specially at night and early morning, when visibility is low and than they race back to their border. They also pick up their target carefully, small teams of soldiers are chosen, Pakistanis knows the area they patrol and time. What we should do is to catch hold of these attackers through all means. Show it to media. I think Pakistanis are using mix of their soldiers and terrorists to deny any involvement in the incident.
     
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  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Kargil was well known about this ..

     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    We should identify the areas where they usually infiltrate with these BATs.

    Then using the cheap and hence cost effective Drones along the areas ( put up by Kunal) in one of the threads) that would indicate infiltrators, and using movement sensors and cameras.having got the correct 'fix', send compatible patrols to seal their retreat routes, nab the lot and expose Pakistan.
     
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  15. praneetbajpaie

    praneetbajpaie Tihar Jail Banned

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Well such failures are happening on a regular basis now. Something to think about.
     
  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Now a days they teach you how to use the cover from all sides - left and right and similarly fire from left and right hand as master hand.
     
  17. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    The incidents of firing, snipping and shelling is quite common on the LOC.

    So one can find such temporary or half baked arrangements on ways between the posts and in areas under the observation of the enemy.

    Digging is the best but not possible everywhere...
     
  18. adityasaroj

    adityasaroj New Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Does Indian army have Snipers
    why Army is not using them as they may be effected in many post on loc.
    why Politician are not purchasing high defensive Gun for amy & train them with Barrett M107A1
    It is a weapon which can be used to give reply to Pakistan as it is doing seas fire
     
  19. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Sir, what is 'ar pakar'.that you have used at multiple occasions ?
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    I have operated in similar circumstances and in that area.

    No one had half baked stuff.

    Every fortification had a reason and adequately constructed to serve the purpose.

    And in those days, the area of a battalion's responsibility was vast. I went there recently to the same place and saw what we held as an unit with one post with the BSF, they had three battalions doing the same! Therefore, the area of responsibility is much less and the Battalions are deployed quite compact.

    Even Op Rachna post, which were not tactical but were situated to dominate the no man's land or area between the LC and the line of the Forward Defended Localities, were fortifications that were tactical and could withstand raids and small arms fire, even if not artillery shelling.

    In another area, where the enemy daily interdicted by fire our daily stocking trains of men and local donkeys, we had interrupted brestwalls so that people could take shelter when they fired and moved quickly to the next brestwall when the firing stopped for a moment. They were high enough to protect, but also allowed one to see.

    I used the digging example to indicate the importance of taking cover. In advance to contact, one is on the move, but for some enemy action ahead, the column stops. Even if it is for 5 minutes, the drill was start digging a shallow trench and take cover.

    Likewise, the vehicles had to immediately start opening up and use the camouflage nets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Talk of command failure in army Pakistan intrusion raises questio

    Sorry for using the Hindustani phrase. There are many terms that are totally indelible in the memory and that is what comes first to mind.

    Ar is cover.

    Pakar is grasp or words to that effect.

    It means use cover.

    One type of cover is from vision like foliage called nazari ar.

    The other is solid or mazbut ar, which gives protect from small arms fire.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

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