Indian Army's Eastern Command turns 94

Kolkata: Indian Army's biggest operational command - the Eastern Command - responsible for military operations along the international borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal, Saturday turned 94.

The Eastern Command will continue to strive for "unparalleled professional competence to ensure the highest standards of operational readiness", Lt. Gen. M.M.S. Rai, general officer commanding-in-chief, said on the occasion at its headquarters at Fort William here.

He reiterated the responsibility of safeguarding the nation's eastern territory.

The Eastern Command was formed Nov 1, 1920, with its summer headquarters in Nainital and winter headquarters in Lucknow. Its territorial jurisdiction then extended over Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.

The command was designated as Eastern Army in April 1942, and its headquarters moved to Barrackpore.

The Eastern Command theatre consists of three distinct geographical regions - the mountainous sectors of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the north, the jungle-clad hill tracts of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya in the east and the south, and the plains of Assam and Bengal.

Field Marshal. S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, who led the Indian Army to victory in 1971 and became India's first five-star officer in 1975, was one of Eastern Command's illustrious commanders.

Besides the current army chief, Gen. Dalbir Singh and his predecessors Gen. Bikram Singh and Gen. V.K. Singh, others who have headed the Eastern Command are Gen. P.P. Kumaramanglam, Gen. A.S. Vaidya Gen. V.N. Sharma, all of whom rose to army chief.

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