15 amazing facts about the Indian armed forces you must know & be proud of
Indian Army is the third biggest military contingent in the World next to USA and China. However, there are many firsts that make Indian army stand out in the world, making us all Indians very proud. Here are 15 facts that make you thrilled. Knowing them, will help you celebrate Independence Day with greater vigour and gratitude!
1. Biggest ‘voluntary’ army in the world
Indian army is the biggest ‘voluntary’ army in the world. All the serving and reserve personnel are in fact come forward to join the force. While the constitution has a provision to make forced recruitment, it has never been used.
2. No reservations based on caste or religion
In the Indian army, there is no provision for reservations based on caste or religion, while this is a common practice in other government organisations and institutions in the country.
3. Among the nuclear-capable elite
India’s indigenous nuclear-capable ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) AGNI-V puts India into the Elite Club consisting of USA, China, France and Russia.
4. In control of the highest battlefield in the world
India is in control of the highest battlefield in the world – the Siachen glacier. This area is at 5000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL).
5. Best in high altitude and mountain warfare
Indian army is among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare.
6. Elite military training centres in the world
One of the most elite military training centres in the world, the Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) and is visited by Special Ops teams from the U.S, U.K & Russia. Even during the invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S Special Forces were trained at HAWS.
7. India’s nuclear test, the biggest failure of CIA
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of USA had no clue about India’s nuclear arsenal test in the early 1970s and late 1990s. Till date, it is considered to be one of the CIA’s biggest failures in espionage and detection.
8. India’s glory against Pakistan in 1971
The Indo Pakistan War of 1971 ended with the surrender of about 93,000 soldiers and officials of the Pakistani Army. This is the largest number of war prisoners taken into custody since World War II. The war resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.
9. The great Battle of Longewala
During a battle against Pakistan in December 1971, just 120 Indian Soldiers with one jeep mounted M40 recoilless rifle held the fort against 2000 Pakistani soldiers backed by 45 tanks and 1 mobile infantry brigade. Despite being heavily out-numbered, the Indian soldiers held their ground throughout the night and with the help of the Air Force, were able to completely rout the aggressors.
10. The biggest civilian rescue operations in the world
Operation Rahat (2013): It was carried out by the Indian Air Force to evacuate civilians affected by the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. It was the biggest civilian rescue operations in the world carried out by any Air Force using helicopters. During the first phase of the operation from 17 June 2013, the IAF airlifted a total of about 20,000 people; flying a total of 2,140 sorties and dropping a total of 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.
11. Unique horsed cavalry regiment
The Indian army has a horsed cavalry regiment. It is among one of the last three such regiments in the world.
12. Army built the highest bridge in the world
The Indian Army built the highest bridge in the world – The Bailey Bridge. Built in August 1982, it is located in the Ladakh valley between Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains.
13. Largest Naval Academy
The Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest of its kind in Asia.
14. Out-station base in Tajikistan
The Indian Air Force has an out-station base in Tajikistan and is seeking another in Afghanistan.
15. Honorary ranks to celebrities
Celebrities are often awarded honorary ranks in the armed forces. While Sachin Tendulkar has been granted the rank of Honorary Group captain in the I.A.F, M.S Dhoni is an Honorary Lt Col in the Indian Army. Many film stars including Nana Patekar and Mohan Lal also are conferred with military ranks.
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