Updated February 20th, 2024 at 23:49 IST

Indian Army to Form New Corps for Operation Along LAC Amid Heightened Tensions With China

The HQ UB area, previously focused on peacetime duties and overseeing locations and training establishments in Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Indian Army's strategic shift along Line of Actual Control includes new 18 Corps formation, to increase border security amid tensions with China. | Image:Indian Army
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New Delhi: The Indian Army is making quite important changes to its operational setup along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the establishment of a new corps, as per media reports. This move will see the transformation of the Headquarters Uttar Bharat (HQ UB) area, currently based in Bareilly, into a fully operational corps headquarters.

The HQ UB area, previously focused on peacetime duties and overseeing locations and training establishments in Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh, will now shift its attention to operational tasks along the LAC. The new corps, known as the 18 Corps, will be responsible for operations in the central theatre, which includes regions along the LAC in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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Need  for Central Command’s Transformative Reforms 

This transformation comes in response to increased tensions and frequent face-offs with Chinese troops along certain disputed points along the LAC. Previously, the UB area had only one brigade and a few scout battalions, but it has been gradually upgraded to handle the heightened focus on border security. As of now three independent brigades and an infantry division is based in Uttarakhand under it.

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Reports added that the 18 Corps will have a comprehensive structure comprising elements from all arms and services, including artillery, engineering, and aviation. Further, the decision to convert the HQ UB area into a corps headquarters was driven by the need for greater manpower and assets to address emerging operational requirements, reports citing defence officials added. By utilising existing authorised manpower, the Army aims to make response to security threats more efficient in the region and  strengthen border infrastructure and combat logistics facilities.

A Shift in Indian Army’s Approach to Border Security 

Additionally, the move  implies a broader shift in the Army's approach to border security, with a renewed focus on operational readiness and response capabilities. The 18 Corps will play a central role in coordinating and executing operations along the LAC, thereby strengthening India's defence posture in the region.

This development also marks a vital change for the Central Command, which until now primarily served administrative functions. With the establishment of the 18 Corps, the Central Command will now undergo a transformation, aligning its operational capabilities with its official mandate of defending the central sector along the LAC and international borders with neighbouring countries.

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 16:49 IST