Even as China drags its feet on further disengagement in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army has put in place a new summer strategy for Ladakh. The force has also implemented key changes in the Order of Battle (ORBAT) to counter the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with whom it has been locked in a face-off for nearly a year, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said the Army has retained a higher number of troops and equipment in Ladakh, besides the 3 Div, in charge of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the 14 Corps Reserve. This includes some of the formations pumped in last year following the tensions with China, besides new elements brought in for summer deployment.
However, the sources said that while various rejigs have taken place, one key element is the focus on the ‘field peace turnover’ issue, because the Ladakh stand-off has put a lot of pressure on this aspect. ‘Field peace turnover’ is a term used for the policy that troops posted in a battle zone get peace postings after a particular period of time, and vice-versa. This is important to maintain the mental and physical fighting capability, and hence, is a worry for the force.
Sources said the Army’s focus is on ensuring that there are “adequate” troops to counter any Chinese aggression, not just in the 14 Corps area, but also in the reserve.
Key changes in ORBAT
As reported by ThePrint, the Army had planned key changes with regard to its rebalancing. Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane, in January this year, had outlined his broad plans for rebalancing from the western theatre to the north.
Sources said that more changes have been made and the process has been completed. ThePrint is withholding names and specific details about the changes due to national security reasons.