New Delhi: The Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, accompanied by wife, Mrs Bubbles Singh, who undertook a two-day visit to the Eastern Command headquarters in Kolkata on Friday, returned to New Delhi on Sunday.
GOC-in-C (Eastern Command) Lt Gen Dalbir Singh and his wife, Mrs Namita Suhag, received the visiting army chief and his wife on their arrival.
"It is virtually a homecoming," said General Bikram on arrival. "Having commanded the Eastern Command for over two years, this is one formation that is very close to my heart," he said.
This was General Bikram Singh`s maiden visit to the Fort William-based Command HQ since taking over as Army Chief on May 31, earlier this year. The visit follows his earlier visits to the three Corps HQs under Eastern Command based at Sukna, Dimapur and Tezpur in recent months.
Lt Gen Dalbir Singh briefed the Army Chief on the operational preparedness and the security scenario in the eastern region. The Army Chief also interacted with other senior army officials and formation commanders.
As a mark of respect to the former prime minister IK Gujral, who passed away on Friday, several planned social events were cancelled during the visit.
The Army Chief who has so far addressed nearly 16,000 officers during his official visits to various formations and units across the country, including via video conferencing, addressed over 250 officers, including lady officers, posted in and around Kolkata.
Sharing his vision to enhance operational effectiveness of the Army to ensure it remains a potent, responsive, accountable and relevant instrument of power, he dwelt on some of the thrust areas that include effective fulfilment of the constitutional obligations and assigned roles, including force modernisation as per stipulated time lines.
He emphasised the need to strengthen the work culture that hinges on professional ethos upholding the core values of integrity, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, courage and honour. He also stressed on effective human resource management to ensure highest standards of motivation and morale.
General Singh also stressed on the need to enhance security consciousness and strengthen the secular fabric and apolitical stature of the Army. He outlined the need to enhance `jointness` with other services and strengthen inter agency relationships.
Among his major focus, he said, was ensuring the welfare of veterans and ex-servicemen (ESM) including `veer naris` and widows.
"In my reckoning, unless these people are happy, the army cannot be strong and happy. We cannot afford to ignore our ESM and veer naris," he said, elaborating various measures initiated to address their aspirations and esteem needs.
In a separately held meeting, President, Family Welfare Organisation (FWO), Mrs Bubbles Singh, also interacted with families of officers, junior commissioned officers and other ranks during her visit.