New Defence Minister hits the ground running
Rajnath Singh hit the ground running as India's new Defence Minister, visiting the world's highest battlefield at Siachen within 48 hours of taking charge.
Making the most difficult area of military deployment as his first pit stop as Defence Minister, Singh's visit to the Siachen base camp was both for familiarising himself with his job and its challenges, and also identifying with the hardship faced by troops deployed on the treacherous battlefield.
He was accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Nothern Army Commander Lt General Ranbir Singh, 14 Corps Commander Lt General YK Joshi and the local formation commanders.
Dressed in military gear worn by troops on the glacier, Singh paid homage at the Siachen War Memorial to about 1,000 troops who have lost their lives to bad weather and enemy bombardment at the glacier battlefield since 1984.
He interacted with troops, and expressed the nation's gratitude to them. "I am proud of all Army personnel serving in Siachen who are leaving no stone unturned to defend our motherland. I am also proud of their parents who have sent their children to serve the Nation by joining the Armed Forces. I will personally send a Thank You note to them," he said.
He assured the Siachen Warriors of full support in meeting their requirements.