TOP SEVEN AMAZING FACTS ABOUT THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES

1. Highest and longest bridge constructed by IAF- holds the record

The Bailey Bridge in Ladakh is one of the highest altitude bridges in the world. The interesting fact is that it was constructed by our Indian army in 1982. It's located amidst the wonderful environment of Ladakh valley, between Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan Mountains. It's at the highest elevation. Also, the Indian Army holds the record by building the longest suspension bridge ‘Matiri Bridge’ over the Indus River in the Leh-Ladakh region in the shortest time of only 40 days. This was built by Combat Engineers of 'Sahas aur Yogyata' Regiment to help the residents Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot villages which are the largest ones in Ladakh region. Thus, our Indian army contributes in all the way for supporting society.

2. The MES (Military Engineering Services) and their strategic formations

The Military Engineering Services (MES) is one of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian army and also one of the biggest construction agencies in India. The MES along with Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is responsible for the construction, design, development, and maintenance of some of the most awesome infrastructure assets like roads, buildings, airfields, dock installations, bridges, etc. It has a Presence Across Nation - India, to provide strategic formations. For example, the Khardungla Pass (the highest motorable road in the world), the Magnetic Hill in Leh, etc. Moreover, we have 'The Hindon Air Force Station' in Ghaziabad, UP which is the largest airbase in Asia.

3.Operation Rahat- the rescue operation.

IAF had commenced one of the biggest civilian operations ever carried out in the world. And this was during the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, the Herculean task of evacuating people from rain-ravaged regions of the state. Known as "Operation Rahat", as a part of this the defence forces United to rescue the citizens affected by the flood. Over 20thousands of army personnel were employed under this Operation! Also, we are privileged to have Marine Commandos or MARCOS(magarmach), a special unit which played a key role in rescuing hostages during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

4.Ezhimala Naval Academy- the largest in Asia

The 'Ezhimala Naval Academy' is the initial officer training program for the Indian Navy and the Indian coast guard under the Indian Armed Forces. This Indian Naval academy (INA) is the largest of its kind in entire Asia! It's located in Ezhimala, Kannur district, Kerala and conducts basic training for all the recruited officers. Not only from our nation, but INA also prepares and train the best cadets from friendly foreign nations like Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Afganistan and many. One of the most elite training centres in the world is 'The Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS)'.

5.A contribution to peace and the largest military surrender

Our Indian Army has always taken efforts to control the unnecessary warfares, because such wars always lead to destruction at both sides. India is the largest importer of arms. Yet, our forces have never initiated a first attack, never invaded nor attacked any country or engaged in a military coup to gain power or govern a nation. Also, India military holds the record of accepting the largest ever military surrender in the world after World War 2. It was in the first conventional war of 1971, almost 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to Indian army and this gets a place in our history records! Indian Army is also one of the largest contributors to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force (UNPKF).

6.Some more unique specialties of our forces

It's a pride for us that our Indian army controls the highest battlefield in the world - the Siachen Glacier, which is located 5000 metres above the Mean Sae Level(MSL). For instance, since it falls under Line Of Control(LOC), nearly 3000 soldiers are deployed in that area. Our army also has its first and only military base outside the country. This outstation base is in Tajikistan and named as Fakhor Air Base. Indian army is known for its valour but rarely does anyone know that throughout the world, there are only three last "horsed cavalry regiments" and Indian Armed Forces has one of those three.

7. IAF - Fair opportunities to everyone, no partiality or preference

In the Indian Army, unlike other government organisations and institutions, there is absolutely no provisions for reservations based on religion, caste or creed. Soldiers are always recruited based on their overall merit and fitness(stringent tests and trials). Additionally, the Indian army has one of the biggest “voluntary” military force in the world. This simply means that our Army consists of the largest number of willing soldiers in the entire world. Once an Indian citizen joins the forces, he/she becomes a soldier and they have actually "opted" for service, not forced. Additionally, creating a milestone at Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment, Captain Tania Sher Gill became the first woman officer to lead an all men contingent at the 2020 Army Day Parade. This shows, our Army is breaking milestones everyday and in every sector! Salute to our army! Jai Hind!

AUTHOR

Srishti Sharma