Infantry: India Takes The Highest Ground

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June 28, 2008: India is forming two mountain infantry divisions. India already has ten infantry divisions trained and equipped for mountain operations, and another division that specializes in high altitude (over 10,000 feet) operations. The two new divisions will be built from scratch, taking experienced mountain troops from the eleven existing divisions with experience in mountain operations. The new mountain divisions will not only specialize in mountain operations, but will form the garrison for the high altitude border areas in Kashmir (facing Pakistan) and with China. The new divisions will have a special high-altitude aviation squadron attached, as well as lots of specialized gear bought from foreign sources. That's always a sign that the army is serious, and does wonders for troop morale.

Indian mountain troops, along with their Pakistani and Chinese adversaries, have taken military operations to the highest altitudes ever (sometimes over 20,000 feet). Thousands of troops have died, in the last half century, from cold, lack of oxygen or avalanches, just manning their positions in the Himalayas. India has tried to take the lead in terms of training and equipment. The two new "high altitude" divisions are another example of this.

 


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