Pune is an important cantonment town since the first decade of the nineteenth century. Headquarters of the Indian Army's Southern Command is located here. Pune is one of the alma maters of the Sappers of the Indian Army as the College of Military Engineering and the Bombay Engineering Group and Centre are located here. The prestigious National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla is considered to be the equivalent of West Point except that the cadets of all services are trained together. The Armed Forces Medical College trains doctors and nurses for the three services. The city is also a hub for the Army's physical training and sports needs with the Army Institute of Physical Training and the Army Sports Institute being located here.
The battles of Kirkee and Koregaon were fought here in the early nineteenth century and an old war memorial is located opposite Sassoon Hospital. A new war memorial, the National War Memorial (Maharashtra) is located in Pune cantonment near Ghorpuri. The memorial commemorates the sacrifice of the soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces, belonging to Maharshtra, who lost their lives in the conflicts fought by independent India.