by DEEPAK ACHARJEE
The Bangladesh Army is planning to conduct its activities under three independent corps --- the Central Corps, Eastern Corps and the Western Corps --- with a view to implementing the "Forces Goal-2030", military sources said.
A senior officer of the rank of Lieutenant General will be the chief (commander) of a corps. He will take decisions independently, barring major ones.
Talking to The Independent, a senior military officer not wanting to be named said the Bangladesh Army is planning to conduct its activities under the corps concept, as per the guidelines of the Bangladesh Armed Forces laid down by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.
“The process of forming the three corps has already started as part of strengthening its capabilities. After they are formed, the corps commander can take administrative decisions independently, and they will report to the Chief of Army Staff,” he said.
The sources said each of the corps will have a station headquarters and several corps brigades to conduct its activities smoothly.
At present, the Bangladesh Army is operating under nine area commands and infantry divisions --- the Savar Area Command and the 9th Infantry Division, the Cox's Bazar Area Command and the 10th Infantry Division in Ramu, the Bogra Area Command and the 11th Infantry Division, the Sylhet Area Command and the 17th Infantry Division, the Ghatail Area Command and the 19th Infantry Division, the Chittagong Area Command and the 24th Infantry Division, the Comilla Area Command and the 33rd Infantry Division, the Jessore Area Command and the 55th Infantry Division, the Rangpur Area Command and the 66th Infantry Division and the Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC) at the Mymensingh Cantonment. The Army also has independent units under direct command of the Army headquarters.
There are 28 cantonments across the country where Army personnel are working, training and living. They are, the Alikadam Cantonment in Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban Cantonment, the Bangladesh Military Academy in Chittagong, Chittagong Cantonment, Comilla Cantonment, Dhaka Cantonment, Dighinala Cantonment in Rangamati, Halishahar Cantonment in Chittagong, Jahanabad Cantonment in Khulna, Jahangirabad Cantonment in Bogra, Jalalabad Cantonment in Sylhet, Jessore Cantonment, Kaptai Cantonment in Rangamati, Khagrachari Cantonment in Khagrachari, Kholahati Cantonment in Dinajpur, Majhira Cantonment in Bogra, Mirpur Cantonment in Dhaka, Mymensingh Cantonment, Postogola Cantonment in Dhaka, Qadirabad Cantonment in Natore, Rajendrapur Cantonment in Gazipur, Rajshahi Cantonment, Ramu Cantonment in Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati Cantonment, Rangpur Cantonment, Saidpur Cantonment in Nilphamari, Savar Cantonment in Dhaka and the Shahid Salahuddin Cantonment in Ghatail.
Huge quantities of military hardware, fighter planes and helicopters, sophisticated arms and ammunition and security devices have been purchased to enhance the efficiency and capabilities of the armed forces.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while addressing a “darbar” after witnessing the Army’s winter exercise named “Suchagro Medini” at Paglapir Khalia in Rangpur district on January 14, had said that the Army could be divided into three commands like the three major rivers, the Padma, Meghna and the Jamuna, have divided the country.
On January 30, Sheikh Hasina, while addressing a reunion parade marking the Regimental Commanders’ Conference of the East Bengal Regiment of the Army and the 9th Tigers’ Reunion at the Chittagong Cantonment, had said that the government is making efforts to build up a capable and modern armed force so that it can discharge all duties in the international arena holding its head high.
Earlier, the Premier had said that two more divisions, one in Dhaka and the other in Barisal, would be formed soon.
The Army is the largest of the three wings of the Bangladesh armed forces. Its primary mission is to provide necessary forces and capabilities in support of Bangladesh’s security and defence strategies, including safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity against external attack.
It may be mentioned that the Indian Army has a regimental system, but is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division.