Udhampur- The Army's Northern Command is in a high state of readiness to face constantly evolving threats and challenges, General Officer-commanding-in-chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said on Tuesday.
The commander presented gallantry awards as well as distinguished service awards to bravehearts, both officers and other ranks, in a solemn and distinguished investiture ceremony here.
"The security situation in Northern Command continues to remain volatile, as we are the only command in active operations facing adversaries from both the northern and western front, in addition to the internal security threats," the commander said.
"Northern Command is in a high state of readiness to face the constantly evolving threats and challenges," he added.
The commander also brought out that the 'whole of nation approach' has led to progressive improvement in security situation in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The extraordinary zeal and motivation among all ranks reassures me that security of the borders is in safe hands, he said.
At the ceremony, 92 gallantry awards were presented to those who showed exemplary courage under extreme circumstances during anti-militancy operations and foiling enemy designs on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
Nineteen of the awards were awarded posthumously to the next of kin of soldiers who laid down their lives in the service of the nation. Twenty-five distinguished service awards were presented for selfless service to the nation.
The commander further said that 2021 was an exigent year for the armed forces as the troops displayed exceptional bravery through a well-coordinated and an aggressive response strategy on the northern borders.
"Our forces have shown exemplary courage and remarkable fortitude in these testing times. I, convey my heartfelt gratitude to the brave soldiers of Indian Army for their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty defying all odds in Operation Rakshak, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Snow Leopard," he said.
He said the Army is committed to defend India's sovereignty and territorial integrity and believes in constructive dialogue through both military and diplomatic means to resolve the border issues.
"Restoration of peace and tranquility to enable progress in bilateral relations has been and will remain our constant endeavour. We are keeping a constant watch on all developments and will take all necessary steps to protect our national interests," the commander said.
He said besides the operational challenges on the Line of Actual Control and LoC, the Army remain committed to providing succour in the times of natural disasters which includes the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I also take this opportunity to laud the efforts of Covid warriors whose relentless efforts have kept us protected in these testing times," he said.
Gen Dwivedi said Operation Sadbhavana' has bridged the gap between the armed forces and people resulting in a better civil-nilitary integration and coordination.
"This has been achieved through well-orchestrated developmental work in conjunction with the civil administration and assisting grassroot level development activities in far flung areas under Project Sadbhavana, he said.
A participative approach by all stakeholders coupled with integration of all agencies and synergy of efforts to enhance development, improved educational facilities and employment opportunities for the youth will result in fulfilling the aspirations of the people," he added.
The commander also congratulated all the awardees and their families.
"I commend the veer naris' present here who bear the unfathomable loss of their loved ones with stoic silence. I wish to reassure you that we stand firmly besides you on your loss and remain committed to ensuring our unstinted support to you. We are deeply committed to ensure your resettlement with utmost dignity in society," he said.
The commander exhorted all ranks of the Northern Command to be prepared for varied challenges on the internal and external security front.
"The nation looks upon us in times of crises and we have to live up to the hopes and trust reposed on us by our countrymen," he said.
Lauding all ranks of the Northern Command for their dedication and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Army, Gen Dwivedi conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the brave men who made the supreme sacrifice while facing adverse situations.
He expressed his gratitude to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the civil administration for their unstinted support and wished for peace and contentment for the people of the regions.
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