India to Set Up Marine Brigade

By admin • June 17th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – After years of consultations, the Indian Army and Indian Navy have put forth the proposal to the Indian government to permit the transport of an independent brigade group (IBG), comprising of a 5,000-strong armed infantry and special forces troops, tanks and weapons outside Indian mainland for various defence related and humanitarian operations.

According to the Indian Navy, this move has been suggested in order to focus security on India’s island territories as well as providing humanitarian relief in those regions. The Indian Army and Navy are working in tandem to build up this full-brigade strength contingent of troops consisting of two Special Forces units to secure India’s 1,200 island territories.

The setting up of the IBG is expected to have heavy financial implications besides being considered strategically provocative by neighbouring regions. The IBG will mainly involve the acquisition of larger amphibious assault vessels, equipment and joint training.

While the Indian Army has an IBG which is the 340 Independent Infantry Brigade under Jodhpur-based 12 Corps for amphibious assault operations as well as the 91 Infantry Brigade for amphibious warfare, the Indian Navy is lagging behind in terms of such a large capacity.

The Indian Navy officials indicated that the current capacity to transport a couple of battalions must be doubled in order to make it a full IBG. While the Indian Navy has been pressing the Defence Ministry for a couple of years to help them augment their capabilities, the Defence Ministry has shown interest and agreed in-principle to the proposal.

It may be noted that several joint amphibious exercises has been conducted in the past but the largest ever was the “Exercise Tropex 2009” in which the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force jointly conducted operations at Madhavpur beach, Gujarat. The amphibious landing, the most complex of all military manoeuvres involving coordination and synergy from conceptualisation to planning and final execution was ably demonstrated in Tropex 2009. The element of Coast Guard was also a part of this short, swift and intense conflict.

source: india defence online

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