Sunday, June 17, 2007

Israeli team visits Northern Command

Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

A high-level Military delegation from Israel today visited Northern Command Army’s 16 Corps headquarters at Nagrota to discuss counter-terrorism and
anti-infiltration strategies in Jammu and Kashmir.

Well placed sources told the Excelsior that the Israeli delegation’s visit is being kept as "guarded secret" by the Northern Army Command officials, who preferred to
remain tight lipped when contacted. Led by Israeli Deputy Chief of General Staff, Major General Moshe Kaplinsky the delegation arrived at the Nagrota Corps
headquarters here this morning.

Sources said the Israeli delegation, comprising top Military and Intelligence officers, would discuss with Northern Army field commanders their experiences of tackling infiltration and terrorism in that country.

The foreign Military team visited several forward areas along the LoC in Poonch-Rajouri to check the functional compatibilities of a large number of military equipment, procured from Israel, installed in the hilly terrains close to Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian forces use a wide array of Israeli-made surveillance devices, ranging from unattended ground sensors and Hand-Held Thermal Imagers (HHTI) to Long-Range Reconnaissance and Observation Systems and the Battle
Field Surveillance Radars.

The sources said that during its day-long stay in the region, the Israeli delegation will also visit Reasi based Uniform Force headquarters of Rashtriya Rifles and review the Army’s work under ‘Operation Sadhbhavana’, which was initiated as a move to win hearts of common people in this militancy-hit state.

The sources said that Israel is India’s second largest and fastest growing defence and strategic partner. During 2006 alone, India bought Israeli Military equipment worth 1.6 billion dollars. Besides, several big procurement and joint research and development (R&D) projects are underway between the two countries, ranging from more
advanced missiles and anti-missiles defence system to high altitude as welll as man portable UAVs and radars.