New Delhi: Speaking to the media after he was presented a ceremonial guard of honour at the South Block lawns, newly-appointed Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on May 1 said his “utmost and foremost” priority would be to ensure very high standards of operational preparedness to face current, contemporary and future security challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict.
The ceremony was held a day after he took charge of the force. Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar were also present at the guard of honour ceremony.
The Army chief said he would focus on the ongoing reforms, restructuring and transformation of the Army to enhance its operational and functional efficiency besides giving importance to achieving self-reliance in defence.
“My utmost and foremost priority will be to ensure very high standards of operational preparedness to face the current contemporary and future challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict,” he said.
He also said the global geopolitical situation is changing rapidly “as a result of which we have multiple challenges ahead”, asserting that the Army, in “coordination and cooperation” with the Indian Air Force and the Navy, will unitedly deal with any situation.
The Army chief said his force, in coordination with the Indian Air Force and Navy, will effectively deal with all possible security challenges facing the nation.
“In terms of capability development and force modernisation, my effort would be to leverage new technologies through indigenisation and self-reliance,” he said.
“My aim would be to enhance inter-services cooperation and synergy,” he said adding the Army will actively engage with other services to positively contribute toward nation-building.
The Army chief said he would take forward the “good works” of his predecessors, and assured the soldiers and officers of the Army that ensuring their welfare will be his key priority.
Gen Pande on April 30 took charge as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff after incumbent Gen MM Naravane retired from service. He became the first-ever officer from the Corps of Engineers to take the reins of the 1.3 million-strong force.
Before taking charge as Vice Chief of Army Staff on February 1, Gen Pande was heading the Eastern Army Command that takes care of guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors.
“I am aware of the big responsibility and I am praying to God that I am given strength, capability and wisdom so that I can carry on with the responsibility,” Gen Pande said.