Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the Bangladesh Army to remain always prepared to make the supreme sacrifice in any need of the nation alongside protecting the country’s sovereignty.
“I believe, Bangladesh army will always remain prepared to make the highest sacrifice in any need of the nation alongside protecting the sovereignty of Bangladesh,” she said.
She said Bangladesh army has been playing a pivotal role in facing the natural and man-made disasters and the country’s socio-economic, infrastructural and communicational development alongside guarding the country’s sovereignty.
She added that the army personnel have also played crucial role in preventing the Coronavirus under the Operation Covid Shield.
The prime minister appreciated Bangladesh military personnel for earning global honour and dignity for the country by performing their duties with utmost professionalism.
She added: “Bangladesh Army by their sacrifice, dutifulness and professionalism in performing duties in establishing world peace and in foreign missions has achieved honour and dignity for the country, brightening its image in the international arena.”
The prime minister said the “humanity of our military personnel” also impresses the commoners of those countries they are working for.
Earlier, on behalf of the prime minister, the army chief handed over the national flag (national standard) to the respective commandants of 4,12 and 20 fields, 5 air defence regiment artillery, 5 and 7 riverine engineer battalions, 1 and 2 signal battalion, Army Aviation Group and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy and new flag to “Mujib Artillery Regiment” and “Rowshan Ara Artillery Regiment”.
The premier virtually witnessed a smartly turned out parade of the members of the units.
Mentioning her family relations with the army, Sheikh Hasina said, “My two brothers (Sheikh Kamal and Sheikh Jamal) were the members of army while my youngest brother (Sheikh Russel) had a dream to be an army man. But his dream was not materialized (as Russel along with father, mother and brothers were brutally killed on August 15 in 1975.)”
The prime minister said after the Liberation War, Bangabandhu only got three and a half years to build a province as a state and establish various organizations such as the armed forces.
She continued that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to build a powerful armed forces, for which, he established Bangladesh Military Academy in Cumilla Cantonment in 1972.
The premier quoted Bangabandhu as saying, “The military academy will be famous in the world and people across the globe will visit it.”
She said following the footsteps of the Father of the Nation, her government has carried out massive development in the armed forces in the last 13 years.
She also said in keeping pace with the developed world, the government has incorporated state-of-the-art weapons, military aircrafts and helicopters as well as modern infantry gadgets and engineering equipment.
On the basis of the defense policy of 1974 formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said her government has formulated the new “National Defense Policy, 2018” and the Force Goal-2030, which is now being implemented.
Sheikh Hasina briefly highlighted her government’s development initiatives for the armed forces during 1996-2000 and 2009 to present.
She said they have established National Defense College (NDC), Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT), Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Bangladesh Peace Building Center (BPC), and new brigades, units and battalions.
She went on saying the government also procured a sufficient number of Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV), battle tanks, helicopters and other necessary armaments and equipment in the army.
The government formulated the “Forces Goal-2030” and has been implementing it with the aim of building a state-of-the-art, trained and up-to-date military force, she added.
After handing over the national flags to the army units and new flags to two the new regiments, “Mujib Artillery Regiment” and “Rowshan Ara Artillery Regiment”, the prime minister said, “It is the responsibility of you to maintain the dignity of the flag.”
Regarding the inception of the “Mujib Artillery Regiment”, Sheikh Hasina said that the regiment of artillery had started its glorious journey through firing gunshots at the battle field during the War of Liberation in 1971 and it started working in the name of one field regiment artillery after the war.
The unit had achieved “regiment colour” in 2019 and “national standard” in 2020 for its outstanding performance in various administrative and operational activities and training, she said.
She continued that the regiment which started its journey through the Liberation War, has been named “Mujib Regiment Artillery” after the name of the Father of the Nation.
The prime minister said that “Rowshan Ara Artillery Regiment” was named after a valiant freedom fighter and Dhaka University student Rowshan Ara which got “regiment colour” in 2019 and “national standard” in 2020 for its outstanding performance in various fields.
“I am very happy today to handover new flags to the “Mujib Artillery Regiment” and “Rowshan Ara Artillery Regiment”, she said, expressing her heartiest greetings to the members of the regiments.
The premier said Bangladesh has been marching ahead defying hundreds of odds as they have set a target to turn Bangladesh into a hunger-poverty-free, developed and prosperous Bangladesh as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.
She vowed: “Bangladesh will continue to progress with the spirit of the Great Liberation War and we will move across the globe keeping our heads high as we are a victorious nation.”