Spread the love

New Delhi: The Army has decided to “combatise” its largely administrative Central Command with a new Corps being brought in under it to streamline the sudden deployments and ad hoc changes that were brought in to counter the Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), ThePrint has learnt.

“Combatised” means the corps will have its own additional artillery, aviation and engineer brigades along with other elements.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said that Headquarters Uttar Bharat (HQ UB), which is an administrative formation under the Central Command, is being converted into a full-fledged corps called the 18 Corps.

The sources said that this corps, with one division and three independent brigades under it, will be in charge of the LAC, which falls between the Leh-based 14 Corps, under the Northern Command, and North Bengal’s Sukna-based 33 Corps, under the Eastern Command.

Explaining the background, sources said multiple changes to deployment patterns were made when India ramped up its military presence along the LAC in 2020 after the Galwan clash.

While India pumped in close to 68,000 additional troops and associated equipment in Eastern Ladakh, deployment was also strengthened along the LAC in the central sectors as well as the Eastern Command.

As part of the changes, the HQ UB, which only had one brigade under it along with some Scout Battalions, got a total of three brigades as the LAC heated up. The new ones included Joshimath-based 9 (Independent) Mountain Brigade, Pithoragarh-based 119 Brigade and the Pooh-based 136 Brigade.

The Dehradun based 14 Division, which was earlier under the Western Command, was also brought under HQ UB.

“But these were all ad hoc changes that were brought in to streamline the additional deployments being made. Now it has been decided to combatise the HQ UB into a proper Corps which will be called the 18 Corps,” the sources said.

They added that with this corps, the Central Command — which until now did not have any corps under it except for independent brigades and largely training establishments — will be combatised.

Sources said with the raising of the 18 Corps, the Army will now have a total of seven corps dedicated to guarding the borders with China, up from the earlier five.

Besides the 18 Corps, the LAC also got an additional strike corps since 2020 after Mathura-based 1 Strike Corps was reoriented to the border with China from that with Pakistan, as part of the larger changes, as first reported by ThePrint in 2021.

Sources explained that formation of a new Corps will also change the outlook of the Central Command, which was till now largely an administrative command even though it was officially an operational one.

“It is about the mindset and the roles being performed. So when the HQ UB area becomes the 18 Corps, the full operational capability and orientation naturally undergoes a total change. Similarly, it stands true for the Central Command itself, which will now be combatised,” a source said.

The Central Command is operationally responsible for the defence of the central sector along the LAC and the international Border with Nepal – stretching across the four states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

It is also home to 13 Category ‘A’ training establishments, 18 regimental centres and a large number of logistics establishments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free web hosting
try it


No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.