Southern Command celebrates 125th Raising Day

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The city-based Headquarters Southern Command celebrated its 125th Raising Day with usual gaiety and splendour on Monday. Southern Command is the oldest field Army in the country.

Pune: The city-based Headquarters Southern Command celebrated its 125th Raising Day with usual gaiety and splendour on Monday. Southern Command is the oldest field Army in the country.

Southern Command was raised on April 1, 1895, with its Headquarters in Pune. On  April 21, 1942, the Command comprising then Bombay district, Deccan district, Madras district and Pune Independent Brigade Area, was re-designated as Southern Army and shifted to Bangalore. It was once again re-designated as Southern Command and re-located to Pune on  July 1, 1946. Lieutenant General Rajendra Sinhji was the first Indian General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Command, who took over on May 1, 1948.

The Southern Command is the largest Command of the Indian Army so far as the geographical area is concerned. The area of responsibility of the Command spreads over 11 states and four Union Territories, covering almost 41 per cent of the land mass of India. Today, its formations and units including 43 training establishments are located at 56 military stations and cantonments.
 
In a press release, Southern Command stated: “Since inception, Southern Command has been instrumental in ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation through raw courage, grit and dedication of its soldiers, both at home and overseas. The troops of the Southern Command have taken part in various important operations to safeguard the Nation. The Command in 1947–48 played a key role in assisting Junagarh and Hyderabad to join the Union of India. In 1961 Goa, Daman and Diu were liberated after 450 years of Portuguese rule and brought under the Tricolour.”

It added, “In 1971, in the Battle of Laungewala, our valiant soldiers showed undaunting courage to thwart the Pakistani attack. Further display of offensive spirit ensured capture of Islamgarh and Bhai Khanewala Khu in the same sector. For these Operations troops of Southern Command were bestowed with 70 gallantry and distinguished service awards. From 1987 to 1990, the Command spearheaded Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka. The Command showed its valour both in Operation Vijay in 1999 and Operation Parakram in 2001. The Command has proved its mettle in various Operations and has also contributed immensely in various Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions in Southern India.”

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