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Pune – India’s oldest field Army will be celebrating its 124th Raising Day on 01 April 2018. Southern Command was raised on 01 April 1895, with its Headquarters in Pune. On 21 April 1942, the Command comprising of Bombay District, Deccan District, Madras District and Pune Independent Brigade Area, was re-designated as the Southern Army and shifted to Bangalore. It was once again re-designated as Southern Command and re-located at Pune on 01 July 1946. Lieutenant General Rajendra Sinhji, Distinguished Service Order (DSO) was the first Indian General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Command who took over on 01 May 1948.

The Southern Command is the largest Command of the Indian Army so far as the geographical area is concerned. The area of responsibility of the Command spreads over 11 States & 4 Union Territories covering almost 41 per cent of the land mass of India. Today, its formations and units including 43 Training establishments are located at 53 Military Stations.

Since inception Southern Command has been instrumental in ensuring the territorial integrity of the Nation through raw courage, grit and dedication of its soldiers, both at home and overseas. The troops of the Southern Command have taken part in various important operations to safeguard the Nation. The Command during 1947- 48 played a key role in assisting Junagarh and Hyderabad to join the Union of India. In 1961 Goa, Daman and Diu were liberated after 450 years of Portugese rule and brought under the Tri Colour. In 1971, in the Battle of Laungewala, our valiant soldiers showed undaunting courage to thwart the Pakistani attack. Further display of offensive spirit ensured capture of Islamgarh and Bhai Khanewala Khu in the same sector. For these Operations troops of Southern Command were bestowed with 70 Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards. From 1987 to 1990, the Command spearheaded OPERATION PAWAN in Sri Lanka. The Command showed its valour both in OPERATION VIJAY in 1999 and OPERATION PARAKRAM in 2001. The Command has also been instrumental in providing aid to civil authorities during the earthquakes at Koyna, Latur and Bhuj in 2001, Tsunami in 2004, Floods in 2015 in Chennai & in Rajasthan/ Gujarat in 2017. After the ill-fated incident at Elphinstone Railway Station on 29 September 2017, Southern Command constructed three Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) at Elphinstone, Currey Road and Ambivali Railway Stations and dedicated them to the citizens of Mumbai in a record time of 117 days. The present Army Commander Lieutenant General D R Soni, Param Vishist Seva Medal, Vishist Seva Medal, Aide-De-Camp, is the 34th General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, of Southern Command.

To commemorate the 124th Raising Day, Headquarters Southern Command is organising a Military Tattoo on 31 March and 01 April 2018 to showcase its military prowess. The event will be conducted at the General Parade Ground (GPG), Race Course, Pune from 3 PM to 6.30 PM. The Military Tattoo will compromise of a Combat Demonstration, Equipment Display, Martial Arts Display (which includes Kalaripayattu, Gatka and Malkhamb), Motorcycle Dare Devils Show, Horse Show, Dog Show and a Band Display.