In recognition of his service and his prior ties to the northeastern state, the army base in Arunachal Pradesh close to China’s border and a crucial road that aids military movement close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were named after the late General Bipin Rawat, India’s first chief of defence staff.
General Bipin Rawat Military Garrison is the new name of the 22-kilometer route that connects this facility to Walong, where underequipped and outnumbered Indian forces stopped the Chinese war machine during the 1962 War. The new designation also applies to Kibithu Military Camp, which overlooks Chinese forces in the Rima-Tatu region across the LAC.
Attendees at the renaming ceremony included Tarini, the younger daughter of Rawat, as well as the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Brigadier BD Mishra (retired), chief minister Pema Khandu, military adviser to the National Security Council Secretariat Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan, commander of the Eastern Army Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, commander of the 3 Corps Lieutenant General RC Tiwari, and Tarini.
To modernise the garrison and turn it into “one of the top advance army bases in the country,” Khandu promised to spend 10 crore.
In the years 1999 to 2000, Rawat commanded the 5/11 Gorkha Rifles at Kibithu as a colonel. The general was known to look back with nostalgia on his time serving as the commanding officer in Kibithu and his prior assignments there since the northeast held a particular place in his heart. He also saw a lot of potential in the area and its inhabitants. Khandu and Mishra had a lengthy conversation about this.
The late CDS helped the state two years ago when it was struggling to pay the Indian Air Force over 320 crore in overdue dues for the use of its assets, as the governor even stated in his speech.
At the ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of people from Kibithu and Walong, there was an unexpected round of applause when the dignitaries recognised Rawat’s services to the northeast.
“An important factor in the North-increased east’s security was General Rawat. According to a top official, his vision and foresight were essential to the execution of numerous infrastructure projects and the region’s socioeconomic growth.
Five Indian infantry brigades and a Chinese infantry unit fought each other in this sector of the 1962 conflict. There is a plaque at the Walong War Memorial that states, “The occupying Chinese suffered debilitating casualties at the hands of own troops. Mule trains carrying Chinese victims were dispersed between Namti and Kraoti.
Not too far from the General Rawat army base are the magnificent Namti plains, which the Chinese nicknamed “Tiger’s Mouth” 60 years ago after suffering severe losses there during the Battle of Walong, which is regarded as one of the few triumphant moments for India in the 1962 war.
An impressive gate with Rawat’s name was built in the typical regional style and is located at the garrison’s entrance.
Rawat, his wife Madhulika, and 12 other persons died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in December 2021.
On the eve of Rawat’s birthday in March 2022, the army established a chair of distinction in his honour at the United Service Institution of India (USI), the country’s first think tank founded in 1870.
In keeping with the Chair’s mandate to do research on strategic matters, this year’s study will focus on Jointness and Integration in the Context of Indian Land Warfare.
In order to improve military efficiency and alter how future operations will be conducted, Rawat was in charge of the military’s endeavour to theaterize operations at the time of his death. After serving his whole three-year tenure as army commander, Rawat became the CDS on December 31, 2019. He held the rank for nearly five years, making him India’s longest-serving four-star general.
The government has not yet announced who would take his place. The ongoing military reforms were thought to be suffering as a result of his passing.
Posthumously awarded in March 2022, the Padma Vibhushan is India’s second-highest civilian honour.