As a conference of Army commanders kicked off on Monday, sources said the situation in Kashmir, how its reorganisation will affect the Army, increasing the retirement age of soldiers, financial powers of Army commanders and the threat of drones from Pakistan are some of the topics that will be discussed.
The Army Commanders’ Conference, where the Army leadership discusses pending issues and plans for the future, is a biannual event that takes place in April and October.
This time, the conference is being held from October 14-19.
Sources in the Army said the first day was spent discussing military operations. The next four days will see discussions on its plans in J&K, they added. Although the bifurcation of the state into two UTs will not directly impact the Army, the commanders will discuss how the reorganisation will affect its systems, considering changes in the civil administration.
Amid reports of drones being used to smuggle arms and ammunition from across the border, sources said this issue is also part of the agenda for discussion.
Integrated Battle Groups (IBG), which are brigade-sized units, will come up for talks, the sources said. The IBGs, which are more agile, include artillery, armour, mechanised and traditional infantry and air power, and are part of the Army’s reorganisation plans. It is part of the larger reorganisation of the Army including a leaner headquarters.
Another idea the commanders will brainstorm about is raising the retirement age of soldiers, especially those who are skilled and educated, sources said. The Army has conducted a study on enhancement of retirement age for skilled manpower. While officers start retiring at age 54, other rank personnel start retiring at 35-37 years of age.