Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane visits Siachen, meets soldiers

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane visited Siachen, the highest and coldest battlefield in the world, on Thursday to boost the morale of the soldiers deployed there. General Naravane paid tribute at the Siachen War Memorial where names of soldiers martyred in the line of duty protecting India in the icy wilderness are inscribed.

“I wanted to visit Siachen soon after taking over. I would like to convey my best wishes and greetings for the New Year. It’s always been my intention to come here on taking over but the weather was not very good in the first week of January. But I’m happy that this is my first visit as the Chief of Army Staff,” said General Naravane.

He added that the Army leadership is aware that everyone stationed in Siachen operates in very tough conditions, inhospitable terrain and weather. “We are doing our best to make sure that whatever is required by the troops is made available to them including clothing and better rations,” he pointed out with Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh present by his side.

The Army Chief also met a group of soldiers deployed in Siachen, which comes under the Indian Army’s Northern Command. Siachen is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range of Himalayas and is controlled entirely by India with all the Pakistani military posts west of Saltoro Ridge, which is below the Siachen glacier.

General Naravane took over the head of the 1.2 million force on December 31, 2019, following the elevation of General Bipin Rawat as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA), General Naravane was commissioned in The Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.

The General has held several key command and staff appointments in peace and field, both in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. He was also deployed in Sri Lanka with the Indian Peace Keeping Force.