Context: The Army has identified a holding formation on the Western front and a Strike formation on the Northern borders to be converted into agile Integrated Battle Groups (IBG).
This topic of “Integrated Battle Group – Basis, Purpose, and Structure” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.
The basis for the concept of IBG
- The Indian military undertook massive mobilisation after the terrorist attack on Parliament in 2001.
- but the Army’s formations which were deep inside took weeks to mobilise losing the element of surprise.
Cold Start Doctrine:
- Following this, the Army formulated a proactive doctrine known as ‘Cold Start’ to launch a swift offensive, but its existence was consistently denied in the past.
- Its existence was acknowledged for the first time by (Late) Gen Rawat in January 2017.
What are IBGs?
- IBGs are brigade-sized, agile, self-sufficient combat formations, which can swiftly launch strikes against adversaries in case of hostilities.
- Each IBG would be tailor-made based on Threat, Terrain and Task and resources will be allotted based on the three Ts.
- They need to be light so they will be low on logistics.
- They will be able to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on the location.
Command, corps, and the brigade
- While a command is the largest static formation of the Army spread across defined geography, a corps is the largest mobile formation.
- Typically, each corps has three divisions, and each division has three brigades.
- The idea is to reorganise them into IBGs which are brigade-sized units but have all the essential elements like infantry, armoured, artillery and air defence embedded together based on the three Ts.
- An IBG operating in a desert needs to be constituted differently from an IBG working in the mountains.
- The key corps of the Army is likely to be reorganised into 1-3 IBGs.
Types and composition of IBGs
- The IBGs will also be defensive and offensive.
- While the offensive IBGs would quickly mobilise and make a thrust into enemy territory for strikes, defensive IBGs would hold ground at vulnerable points or where enemy action is expected.
- The composition of the IBGs would also depend on this.
- The Indian Army is set to make far-reaching changes in its organisational structure for combat with some corps, divisions, and brigades replaced by smaller and self-contained Integrated Battle Groups, with airpower, armour, and artillery.
Practice Question for Mains
- Explain how the new concept of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) which the Indian Army plans to create can result in the overall transformation of the force (250 Words, 15 Marks).