Bangladesh Armed Forces
|Bangladesh Armed Forces|
|Service branches||Sena Bahini (Army) |
Nou Bahini (Navy)
Biman Bahini (Air Force)
Border Guards Bangladesh
Bangladesh Coast Guard
|Available for |
|35,170,019 (2005 est.), age 15–49|
|Fit for |
|26,841,255 (2005 est.), age 15–49|
|Reaching military |
|1,311,850 (2008 est.)|
|Active personnel||178,000+ (2010)|
|Deployed personnel||In UN missions - 10,855 (September 2010)|
|Percent of GDP||1.18% (2010)|
|Domestic suppliers||Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Bangladesh Ordnance Factories |
|Foreign suppliers|| China |
|History||Bangladesh Liberation War|
The President of Bangladesh is the Commander-in-chief of the military, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the principal administrative organization by which military policy is formulated and executed. The MoD is headed by the Minister of Defense, who is a civilian and a member of the Cabinet, usually held by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, who also serves as the President's second-in-command of the military. To coordinate military policy with diplomacy both the President and the Prime Minister are advised by a six-member board, three Chiefs of Staff, which includes the head of each of the regular services, Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division, and Military Secretaries to the President and the Prime Minister. The Director Generals of the NSI, the DGFI and the BGB also serve in an advisory capacity.
The Armed Forces Day is observed on November 21. Official functions are held at "Bangabhaban", Dhaka, "Armed Forces Division Head Quarter", Dhaka Cantonment, and at every military installation throughout the country.
History of Bangladesh ForcesThe modern history of the military of Bangladesh began its inception on the night of 25th March 1971 in Chittagong, when Major Ziaur Rahman, 2nd in Command of the 8 East Bengal Regiment revolted against the Pakistan Army and officially declared Independence of Bangladesh. On 4th April 1971 under the command and leadership of the C-in-C Col(retd) M.A.G. Osmani, it began organization and creation with the title of Bangladesh Forces. During the first Sector Commanders Conference(held during July 11–17 of 1971) Bangladesh Forces were organized and formed for the ongoing independence war from Pakistan. It was significant in the sense that during this historic conference the Bangladesh Forces field command structure, sector reorganization, reinforcement, appointment of field commanders and tactics of warfare were decided upon and carried out. This conference was presided over jointly by the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed and Banga Bir Colonel M.A.G. Osmani Commander in Chief of all Bangladesh Forces. During this conference Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani was reinstated from retirement to active duty into the Armed Forces of Bangladesh as its senior most official, promoted from the rank of Colonel to General. Principal participants of this conference were Principal Military Representative of Bangladesh Government-in-Exile at Chakulia Guerilla Training Camp (Bihar) Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan, BDF Commander Sector 1 Major Ziaur Rahman, BDF Commander Sector 2 Major Khaled Mosharraf, BDF Commander Sector 3 Major K M Shafiullah, BDF Commander Sector 4 Major C R Datta, Major M. A. Jalil, Captain Rafiqul Islam, Lt. Col. Abdur Rab, Wing Commander Khademul Bashar, Major Najmul Haque, Major Mir Shawkat Ali. Lt. Col. Abdur Rab was appointed as Chief of Staff, Bangladesh Army. However, throughout the entire duration of the war Lt. Col. Rab remained in Tripura. Among the few non combatant staff present were Group Captain A. K. Khandker, who was later, during early August given appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff (Army - Liaison). Bangladesh was divided into Eleven Sectors under Sector Commanders. For better management of military operations each sector was divided into a combination of sub-sectors, commanded by a Sub-Sector Commander. The 10th Sector was kept under the direct command of the Commander in Chief and included the Naval Commandos as C-in-C’s special operations force. These commandos were later absorbed in to the Bangladesh Navy.
Major Chowdhury, Osmani's PSO and Military Secretary was officially in charge of all administrative, operational and movement responsibilities.
The Bangladesh Forces received tightly measured assistance from the meager resources of the Indian authorities soon after hostilities broke out. The Soviet Union and the U.S. was also keen to play Cold War politics in the region. The U.S. policy guided by then U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger was courting China to be in the same boat as Pakistan, hence could not support the Bangladesh struggle for independence. However, Nixon's policy did supply India with emergency relief assistance. The USSR later decided to assist Bharat, eventually supported and immensely strengthened Bharats efforts against Pakistan. Bangladesh's independence struggle gained from this assistance after India initially decided to support the Awami League's Mukti Bahini with arms and support under the security umbrella provided by the Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty of August 1971.
On November 21, 1971, when the natural climate was dry and more adaptable and by which time the Bangladesh Forces had severely weakened the strength of the West Pakistani Forces through its guerilla operations, under a complicated politico-military scenario, a demand of the Indian government was conceded to by the Bangladesh Government-in-exile in Calcutta, which was handing over the full command and authority of its operations to the Indian armed forces. The Pakistani force had already suffered massive casualty from constant attacks by the BD Forces and was on the verge of collapse, they readily agreed to a cease fire without resistance in about one and a half weeks, on December 16, 1971. However, the cease fire was switched into a surrender document. The Bangladesh Forces C-in-C General M.A.G. Osmani and almost every member of the Bangladesh Forces, Sector Commanders who organised and led the war including Brigade K, and Z Force Commanders were barred from attending. No ambassadors, or other diplomats, the press, civilian representatives were invited to attend. It was executed with urgent haste. Group Captain A. K. Khandker, the lone BD Forces non combatant staff member, managed to tag along with the Indian entourage and witnessed the show and returned to Kalyani, Calcutta, back on the same day with them. K M Shafiullah, K -Force commander, and a handful of others were also among the hundreds of local masses who surrounded the event from a distance. "No protocol was set on what they were supposed to do". A fact Shafiullah admitted himself. "We rushed to the Race Course from the airport. I was quite near the signing table. But we were not sure what we were supposed to do. That's why I do not appear in any of the photographs. There was rejoicing all around by many Bangladesh citizens. Niazi was put on a jeep and sent away. Aurora and J.F.R. Jacob left the premise and immediately flew back after the signing. That night I did not come across anyone." -Major General Shafiullah spoke to Kaushik Sankar Das.
Victory was declared by the Indian authorities. All 93,000 prisoners of war and massive amount of captured war materials were taken to India. Bangladesh Forces were ordered on January 29th 1972 for demobilization of all sectors by end of February under the direction of General M.A.G Osmani during the final Sector Commanders Conference at the old Police HQ at Mintu Road, Dhaka. The famous Bangladesh Forces group photograph was taken on that day. General Osmani and a few sector commanders arrived in Dhaka a day later, and set up the former Pakistan Army 14 Div HQ's, w.e.f Dec 17th 1971, as BD Forces Command Head Quarters, at Dhaka Cantonment. All closures and accounts were conducted from Osmani's C-in-C HQ at Dhaka Cantonment. Group Captain Muhammad Ghulam Tawab was appointed Osmani's first Deputy Commander in Chief after being able to return from Bangkok, Thailand on December 18th 1971. General Osmani and his deputy Group Captain Tawab remanied in command of BD Forces until April 7th 1972. However, due to internal politics conspired and spearheaded by Group Captain A.K. Khandker and members of the Awami League who resurfaced from Calcutta, India, almost three months after the war ended, managed to remove Tawab entirely from service in Bangladesh government. Independent Bangladesh remained under Indian army occupation and total control for another three months after the war, with an ICS and a Bharti army official in every official building of the Bangladesh government. Quickly realising this deadly turn, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made a unilateral public demand to Indira Gandhi regarding the absolute, unconditional, and unequivocal withdrawal of all Bharti officials and forces from Bangladesh. Bharat received two full districts from Bangladesh as compensation and withdrew within 2 days 17th to 19th March 1972.
The Bangladesh Forces was organized for War of Independence in 1971 into three brigade size units in 11(eleven) sectors.
BDF HQQ's 8 Theatre Road, Calcutta, India.
Prime Minister: Mr. Tajuddin Ahmad
BD Forces C-in-C: General Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani
BD Forces Principal Military Representative: Chakulia Guerilla Training Camp (Bihar) - Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan(Until June)
BD Forces Non-Combatant Staff :
BD Forces C-in-C's PSO and Military Secretary Major Chowdhury
BD Forces Chief of Staff Army Lt. Col. M. A. Rab
BD Forces Deputy Chief of Army Staff Group Captain A.K. Khandker
Bangladesh Forces Sectors and Subsectors
|Sectors of Bangladesh Forces - War of Independence|
|Sector & Date of Formation||Area||Sector Commander||Sub Sectors (Commanders)|
|Sector 1 - April 4th 1971||Chittagong District, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the entire eastern area of the Noakhali District on the banks of the river Muhuri. The headquarters of the sector was at Harina.||• Major Ziaur Rahman - Deceased (April 10, 1971 – May 10, 1971) |
• Major Rafiqul Islam (May 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|Sector 2 - April 4th 1971||Districts of Dhaka, Comilla, and Faridpur, and part of Noakhali District.||• Major Khaled Mosharraf - Deceased (April 10, 1971 – September 22, 1971) |
• Major ATM Haider (Sector Commander September 22, 1971 – December 18, 1972)
|Sector 3 - April 4th 1971||Area between Churaman Kathi (near Sreemangal) and Sylhet in the north and Singerbil of Brahmanbaria in the south.||• Major K M Shafiullah(April 10, 1971 – July 21, 1971) |
• Captain ANM Nuruzzaman (July 23, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|Sector 4 - April 4th 1971||Area from Habiganj District on the north to Kanaighat Police Station on the south along the 100 mile long border with India. The headquarters of the sector was initially at Karimganj and later at Masimpur.||• Major Chittaranjan Datta (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972) |
• Captain A. Rab
|5||Area from Durgapur to Danki (Tamabil) of Sylhet District and the entire area up to the eastern borders of the district. The headquarters of the sector was at Shilong, Bharat.||• Major Mir Shawkat Ali - Deceased (July 30, 1971 – February 14, 1972)|
|Sector 11 - June 10th 1971||Mymensingh and Tangail along with parts of Rangpur - Gaibandha, Ulipur, Kamalpur and Chilmari. The headquarters of the sector was at Teldhala until October 10, then transferred to Mahendraganj.||• Major Ziaur Rahman - Deceased (May 15th, 1971 – October 10, 1971) |
• Major Abu Taher - Deceased(October 10, 1971 – November 2, 1971)
• Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan (November 2, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|6||Rangpur District and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Burimari near Patgram.||• Wing Commander M Khademul Bashar - Deceased (July 30th 1971 – February 14, 1972)|
|7||Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Taranngapur.||• Major Nazmul Huq (Aug 02 – August 20, 1971) |
• Major Kazi Nuruzzaman (August 21 – February 14, 1972)
• Subedar Major A Rab
|8||In April 1971, the operational area of the sector comprised the districts of Kushtia, Jessore, Khulna, Barisal, Faridpur and Patuakhali. At the end of May the sector was reconstituted and comprised the districts of Kuhstia, Jessore, Khulna, Satkhira and the northern part of Faridpur district. The headquarters of the sector was at Benapole.||• Major Abu Osman Chowdhury (July 20 – August 17, 1971) |
• Major Abul Manzur - Deceased (August 14, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
|9||Barisal, Patuakhali, and parts of the district of Khulna and Faridpur.||• Major M A Jalil - Deceased (July 17 – December 24, 1971) |
• Major Abul Manzur
• Major Joynal Abedin
|10||This sector consisted of the Naval Commandos.||• Commander HQ BD Forces (December 3–16, 1971)||None.|
BD Forces 1971 Brigades and Regiment Commanders
- Z Force, Unit Formation July 17th, 1971 Commanded by Major Ziaur Rahman-
- K Force, Unit Formation August 30th, 1971 Commanded by Major Khaled Mosharraf-
- S Force, Unit Formation September 24th, 1971 Commanded by Major K M Shafiullah-
Role of the MilitaryThe Bangladesh Forces organised itself officially as the Bangladesh Armed Forces on November 21 comprising Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. The current strength of Bangladesh Army is estimated to be more than 150,000+ personnel, while Bangladesh Air Force consists of more than 17,000 personnel and Bangladesh Navy with 24,000 personnel , The forces perform traditional military missions. The Bangladesh Coast Guard under the Home Ministry, plays a stronger role in the area of anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, and protection of offshore resources. Recognition of economic and fiscal constraints has led to the establishment of several paramilitary and auxiliary forces, including the 67,000 member Border Guard Bangladesh, the 4,900,000 member Ansars and Village Defense Parties Organization and a 5,000 member specialized police unit known as the Armed Police. The Border Guards Bangladesh, under the Home Ministry, are commanded by army officers who are seconded to the organization.
In addition to traditional defense roles, the military has been called upon to provide support to civil authorities for disaster relief and internal security. The military of Bangladesh fought tribal insurgents in Chittagong Hill Tracts since mid 1970s. In November 2008, Bangladesh Navy effectively staved off economic aggression by Myanmar in the seas of Bangladesh. Occasionally the military forces have been called to participate in social activities like rehabilitation of people following a flood or cyclone. Since late 1980s, it has earned international reputation by working as part of United Nation Peace Keeping Missions in different countries of the world. The Bangladesh military is recognized as a disciplined and well-trained national institution that can tackle critical national phases. A 2,300-member Bangladesh Army contingent served with coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf war. Bangladesh is currently the highest contributor (with 10,855 troops, as of September 2010) to United Nations peacekeeping operations, with an infantry battalion in UNIKOM (Kuwait), an engineer battalion in UNTAET, (East Timor) and another infantry battalion service in Sierra Leone in May 2000.
Medals and Awards
Bangladesh Armed Forces Current DeploymentsBangladesh has consistently made large contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations. As of May 2007, Bangladesh had major deployments in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Lebanon, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Cote d'Ivoire. With 9677 troops deployed, it ranks second in personnel contributions to UN peacekeeping. The government declined to participate in Iraq on a request from USA. The deployment to Liberia began in October 2003 and has remained at a level of about 3200 who are participating in peacekeeping, charitable activities and infrastructure development.
Armed Forces trainingOfficers are trained at the Bangladesh Military Academy, Bangladesh Naval Academy located in Chittagong and Bangladesh Air Force Academy in Jessore. In further parts of their careers, officers are often sent to Defense Services Command and Staff College within or outside Bangladesh, National Defence University and Armed Forces War Course within or outside Bangladesh. Officers of medical corps are recruited after graduation from civil medical colleges. They undergo basic military training at Military Academy followed by professional training in medical corps centre and Armed forces medical institute. Recently cadets of Armed Forces Medical College also started joining directly..
Armed Forces ranksBangladesh military ranks, essentially corresponds to those used by the armed forces of the commonwealth nations.
There are three different systems of rank for commissioned officers of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. The Para-military force Border Guards Bangladesh follows the same rank structure as the Bangladesh Army. Bangladesh Coast Guard follows the naval rank structure.
General was Osmani, Commander-in-Chief of Bangladesh Forces in 1971.
Para-military Forces & Reserves
- Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB)
- Bangladesh Coast Guard
- Bangladesh National Cadet Corps ( BNCC )
- Bangladesh Ansars
- Village Defence Party
- Special Security Force (SSF) - Ministry of Home Affairs
- Presidents Guard Regiment (PGR) - Banga Bhaban
- Para-commandos - Bangladesh Army (Assigned to Paratrooper Battalion of EBR & BIR)
- Rapid Action Battalion - Ministry of Home Affairs
- Special Warfare Diving And Salvage (SWADS) - Bangladesh Navy
Military districtsDhaka Cantonment
- HQ All Military Lands
- HQ Cantonment Boards
- HQ's of Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy & Bangladesh Air Force
- HQ's Armed Forces Medical and Nursing Corps (AFMNC)
- HQ's Armed Forces Recruiting Centre (AFRC)
- HQ's Cantonment Public Schools
- HQ's Armed Forces Library
- Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Testing (AFIPT)
- National Armed Forces Cemetery
Educational and Training Institutes
- Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA), Bhatiary, Chittagong
- School of Infantry and Tactics (SI&T), Jalalabad Cantonment, Sylhet.
- Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSC&SC), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
- National Defence College (NDC), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
- Military Institute of Science & Technology (MIST), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
- Armoured Corps Center & School (ACC&S), Jahangirabad Cantonment, Bogra.
- Engineer Centre and School of Military Engineering, Quadirabad Cantonment, Natore.
- Signal Training Centre and School, Jessore Cantonment, Jessore.
- Army Service Corp Center & School, Jahanabad Cantonment, Khulna.
- Army Medical Corps Center & School, Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment,Ghatail, Tangail.
- Ordnance Corps Centre & School, Rajendrapur Cantonment, Gazipur
- Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT), Rajendrapur Cantonment, Gazipur.
- Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Centre and School, Saidpur Cantonment, Nilphamari.
- Corps of Military Police Centre and School, Shahid Salahuddin Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail.
- Army School of Education and Administration, Shahid Salahuddin Cantonment,Ghatail, Tangail.
- Army School of Physical Training and Sports (ASPTS), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka.
- Army School of Music, Chittagong Cantonment, Chittagong.
- Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka.
- Artillery Center and School, Halishahar, Chittagong.
- School of Military Intelligence, Moynamoti Cantonment, Comilla.
- East Bengal Regimental Center, Chittagong Cantonment, Chittagong.
- Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Center, Rajshahi Cantonment, Rajshahi.
- Non Commissioned Officers Academy, Jahangirabad Cantonment, Bogra.
- Bangladesh University Of Professionals(BUP), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
- Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka.
Training Institutes of Bangladesh Air Force
- Bangladesh Air Force Academy (BAFA), Jessore.
- Flying Instructors School (FIS), Bogra.
- Command and Staff Training Institute (CSTI), Dhaka.
- Flight Safety Institute (FSI), Dhaka.
- Officers' Training School (OTS), Jessore.
- Aero-Medical Institute (AMI), Dhaka.
- Fighter Controller Training Unit (FCTU), Dhaka.
- School of Physical Fitness (SOPF), Dhaka.
- Recruits Training School (RTS), Chittagong.
- Training Wing (TW), Chittagong.
- Mechanical Transport Driving School (MTDS), Shamsher Nagar.
- Bandarban Cantonment (Chittagong Hill Tracts)
- Chittagong Cantonment (Chittagong)
- Dhaka Cantonment (Dhaka)
- Jahanabad Cantonment (Khulna)
- Jahangirabad Cantonment (Bogra)
- Jalalabad Cantonment (Sylhet)
- Jessore Cantonment (Jessore)
- Khagrachari Cantonment (Chittagong Hill Tracts)
- Mirpur Cantonment (Mirpur)
- Moynamoti Cantonment (Comilla)
- Mymensingh Cantonment (Mymensingh)
- Quadirabad Cantonment (Natore)
- Rajendrapur Cantonment (Gazipur)
- Rajshahi Cantonment (Rajshahi)
- Rangamati Cantonment (Chittagong Hill Tracts)
- Rangpur Cantonment (Rangpur)
- Syedpur Cantonment (Syedpur)
- Savar Cantonment (Savar)
- Shahid Salahuddin Cantonment (Ghatail)