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Special soldier medals for ITBP canines, horses

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For the first time, four-legged ‘soldiers’ who accompany troops in combat zones for sanitisation exercises and logistical tasks will be decorated with special medals instituted exclusively for them on lines of those given to troops.

About ITBP :

ITBP(Indo Tibetan Border Police Force) was raised on 24 Oct,1962.Presently ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of Indo-China Border and manning Border Outposts on altitudes ranging from 9000’ to 18700’ in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the Indo-China Border.

  • ITBPF is a specialized mountain Force and most of the officers & men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers. Being the first responder for natural disaster in the Himalayas, ITBPF has been carrying out numerous rescue and relief operations.
  • ITBP is a multi-dimensional force. Presently Battalions of ITBP deployed on Border Guarding Duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 KM of India China Border are manning Border Out Posts at an altitude ranging from 9000’ to 18500’ in the Western, Middle & Eastern Sector of India China Border. ITBP is basically a mountain trained Force and most of the officers & men are professionally trained Mountaineers and Skiers.IBPB
  • They have scaled more than 140 Himalayan peaks including Mt. Everest Four times ( Recent successful expedition in April-May, 2012), besides ITBP batallions are also deployed on CI OPS / IS / VIP security duties at Chamba – Doda border, in VA/Startegic locations and with VIPs in Delhi and VIPs in Srinagar J&K.
  • The border posts manned by ITBP are exposed to high velocity storms, snow blizzards, avalanches, and landslides, besides the hazards of high altitude and extreme cold, where temperature dips up to minus 40 degree Celsius. ITBP conducts Long Range and Short Range patrols to keep an effective vigil on inaccessible and unmanned areas on the border.
  • To maintain optimum operational efficiency of troops, periodical tactical exercises are conducted independently as well as jointly with Army.
  • In border vigil task ITBP mans forward border posts at altitudes ranging from 9000′ to 18000′.Most of the forward posts remain cut off by the surface route during winter months.
  • The border posts are exposed to the fury and violence of the nature like snow blizzards,avalanches,landslides, besides the hazards of high altitude and extreme cold where temperature normally remains below -40 degrees Celcius.
  • The force ,besides guarding the border , is heavily engage in fighting terrorism in the State of J&K , where it has displayed exemplary nerve and gallantry.

The “Himveers” , as the personnel are affectionately called , also provide security cover to installation and to VIPs in Delhi. Each year ITBP Personnels are deployed to UN Peace Keeping Missions in Kosovo, Angola & Western Sahara and Sierra Leone. Crest of the Force epitomizes the Force motto Shaurya Drindhdta Karamnishta has Ashoka and Chakra on Top with two rifles.It inspires men to put duty before self.

Medals for Canines and Horses :

This initiative has been taken by Sino-India border guarding force ITBP which has instituted an ‘Animal Transport’ and a ‘K9’ (canine) medal and has chosen its workhorse ‘Thubderbolt’ and female dog ‘Sophia’ for the maiden decoration to be awarded to them during its forthcoming 55th anniversary celebrations.

  • While the Indo-Tibetan Border Police force has been credited for inducting the first Belgian Malinois dogs for anti-Naxal operations in the country and other tough assignments like infantry patrols few years back, the force traditionally has a strong animal transport unit comprising horses, mules and ponies to aid troops guarding the high-altitude posts along the 3,488 km long China border.
  • The canines, horses and other animals are our silent arm which keeps working relentlessly and the institution of medals is a special way to convey that we are thankful to them for their loyal services.
  • The special medals were recently approved by ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary who will himslef honour Sophia and Thunderbolt by putting the medals around their neck after a majestic parade to mark the force’s anniversary in Greater Noida.
  • Sophia is at present deployed in the Naxal theatre in Chhattisgarh, while Thunderstorm is training at the ITBP centre in Bhanu near Chandigarh.