Army’s modernisation to be completed by this govt’s tenure: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said modernisation of the Bangladesh Army would be completed in four phases within the tenure of the present government.

The Prime Minister was addressing senior army officers after attending a parade ceremony at Syedpur Cantonment in the morning.

The parade was arranged on the occasion of awarding the national standard to Bangladesh Army-run Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Centre and School.

The EME Centre and School was given the national flag for the EME Corps’ historic contributions to the 1971 Liberation War and the school’s role in development of the Bangladesh Army.

Addressing the army commanders, the Prime Minister said the five-year plan to modernise the army would be completed in time.

“The process of implementing the Bangladesh Army’s Forces Goal 2030 is going on,” she said.

Hasina said when the Army’s Forces Goal 2030 would fully be implemented, it surely be turned to be a modern and effective force.

She also urged the officers to come up with innovative ideas and increase the use of modern ICT technologies for their professional development.

Earlier addressing the parade ceremony, the PM has asked the Bangladesh Army to remain always ready to protect the country’s sovereignty and independence.

The Prime Minister assured the Bangladesh Army of talking to the United Nations to ensure the participation of the force’s every corps in peacekeeping missions.

She said the government is strongly committed to establishing the Bangladesh Army as a well-disciplined, skilled and modern force in the world.

Hasina said the responsibility of the EME Corps is very significant as it has to take care of all modern equipment and arms of the force.

Though the Army’s main duty is to protect national independence and sovereignty, it has a long history of standing by people during the natural calamities, she added.

She recalled with gratitude that a total of 1,400 members of the EME Corps took part in the Liberation War and of which 162 members embraced martyrdom.

After taking office this time, Hasina said her government has taken various steps for further modernisation of the force.

Instead of just depending on import, Bangladesh herself is producing automatic rifles while the army and other forces are being modernised with the latest equipment and instruments, she said.

The Prime Minister said the engineering construction companies of the army are being reorganised so that they can do big and quality engineering jobs.

She mentioned that not only in the Army, modernisation is also taking place in the Air and Naval forces, as the government is going to buy new fighter planes, helicopters and air defense rudder while the Navy has already got two offshore patrol vessels and two hydrographic vessels.

She expressed happiness over the performances of the forces, both at home and abroad.

Hasina recalled that the previous Awami League government had established the National Defense College, Non-commissioned Officers Academy, and Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation and Training School.

She said two new brigades, one riverine engineering battalion, one support battalion, one ordnance company, and 36 units, including one field ambulance, were set up during the last tenure.

The previous Awami League government, she mentioned, established the Military Institute of Science and Technology, Armed Force Medical College, Armed Forces Nursing Institute, and bought Mig-29 aircrafts, training aircrafts and helicopters for the Air Force while four FT-7B fighter planes were also procured.

Earlier, on her arrival at the parade ground, the Prime Minister was received by Army Chief General Abdul Mubeen.

A smartly turned out contingent of the Army presented a spectacular parade. The Prime Minister took salute and inspected the parade riding an open jeep.

Hasina later placed wreaths at the Gaurab Smriti Monument and planted a mango sapling on the premises.

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