'Multiple Challenges Ahead': General Manoj Pande After Taking Over As Army Chief

Pande said that his foremost priority as Army chief would be to ensure high standards of operational preparedness.

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'Multiple Challenges Ahead': General Manoj Pande After Taking Over As Army Chief

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General Manoj Pande received the Guard of Honour at the South Block Lawns in New Delhi on Sunday, 1 May, a day after he assumed the post of Chief of Army Staff. He took over the post from former Army chief, General MM Naravane, who retired on Saturday.

"The geopolitical situation is changing fast. We have multiple challenges ahead of us," Pande said after assuming the post.

Pande also said that his foremost priority as Army chief would be to ensure high standards of operational preparedness to face current, contemporary, and future challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict, as per IANS.

He also spoke about the cooperation with the Navy and Air Force chiefs, Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, respectively, who were present at the ceremony on Sunday. "I have known the other two service chiefs well. It's a good beginning of synergy, cooperation, and jointmanship among the three services. I assure you that all three of us will work together and take things forward in the cause of national security and defence."

The Army Chief also said that his efforts would be directed towards making use of new, indigenous technologies to modernise the armed forces and increase their capabilities.

Who Is General Manoj Pande?

General Pande had been appointed as India's 29th Chief of Army Staff on 18 April. He was holding the position of the Vice-Chief of Army Staff until then. Prior to that, Pande held the role of the Eastern Army Commander.

He is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to assume the post.

Pande has tenanted important staff assignments, and was posted as the chief engineer at the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. He was the director-general at the Army Headquarters, and dealt with subjects regarding discipline and welfare, in addition to ceremonial ones.

He has also commanded an Engineer Regiment along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, an Engineer Brigade as part of the Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along the LoC, a Mountain Division in the high-altitude area of western Ladakh, a Corps deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and a Counter-Insurgency Operations area in the northeast.

Lt General Pande has also been conferred with Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, and Vishisht Seva Medal for his service.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, the officer was the chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Eastern Command at Kolkata before getting appointed as the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.

The appointment of the next Chief of Defence Staff is still awaited. The post has remained vacant since the death of General Bipin Rawat in a chopper crash on 8 December. General Naravane is reportedly a front runner for this post.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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