Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti: Hon­ing Tac­ti­cal & Tech­ni­cal Skills

The ex­er­cise, was held in the dense forests of Sen­gai Perdik, Hulu Lan­gat, Malaysia, and was aimed at “bol­ster­ing co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion” be­tween the armed forces of the two coun­tries

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

The ex­er­cise, was held in the dense forests of Sen­gai Perdik, Hulu Lan­gat, Malaysia, and was aimed at “bol­ster­ing co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion” be­tween the armed forces of the two coun­tries.

IN­DIA’S “ACT EAST” POLICY also in­volves a steady build up of mil­i­tary ties with ASEAN coun­tries, with an eye per­haps on China. With this back drop In­dian armed forces are hold­ing var­i­ous types of ex­er­cises with their coun­ter­parts in the ASEAN coun­tries. In­dia held a ma­jor com­bat ex­er­cise re­cently called Ex­er­cise ‘Hari­mau Shakti’ with Malaysia from April 30 to May 13. The ex­er­cise, was held in the dense forests of Sen­gai Perdik, Hulu Lan­gat, Malaysia, and was aimed at “bol­ster­ing co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion” be­tween the armed forces of the two coun­tries. The two con­tin­gents shared their ex­per­tise in con­duct of coun­terin­sur­gency op­er­a­tions in jun­gle ter­rain. This was the first in­stance when a joint train­ing ex­er­cise of this mag­ni­tude be­tween the two coun­tries was held on Malaysian soil.

The In­dian con­tin­gent was rep­re­sented by the 4 Gre­nadiers bat­tal­ion, one of the old­est in­fantry units with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in con­ven­tional and counter-in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions, while the Malaysian side was rep­re­sented by the 1 Royal Ranger Reg­i­ment and the Royal Malay Reg­i­ment, both known for their ex­per­tise in jun­gle war­fare.

The ex­er­cise in­volved a cross-train­ing phase fol­lowed by a field-train­ing phase of seven days in the jun­gles of Hulu Lan­gat, which saw the two con­tin­gents jointly plan and ex­e­cute a se­ries of train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

In­dia has been work­ing to­wards deep­en­ing mil­i­tary ties with ASEAN coun­tries in ac­cor­dance with its “Act East” policy over the last sev­eral years. In­dia, for in­stance, pro­vides mil­i­tary sup­plies and sub­ma­rine train­ing to sailors from Viet­nam and has also of­fered the BrahMos su­per­sonic cruise mis­siles and Akash area de­fence mis­sile sys­tems to the coun­try. In keep­ing with this phi­los­o­phy the fo­cus of the ex­er­cise was on tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions in jun­gle war­fare. Over­all, the ex­er­cise not only pro­vided an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to both the armies to hone their op­er­a­tional skills, but also con­trib­uted to en­hanc­ing the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween In­dia and Malaysia with whome the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions are char­ac­ter­ized by strong bonds of friend­ship based on cul­tural, re­li­gious and eco­nomic ties be­tween South In­dia and the Malay Penin­sula over two mil­len­nia. In­dia-Malaysia de­fence ties date back to the colo­nial days when troops of Madras Na­tive In­fantry served in Malacca, Sin­ga­pore and Pe­nang,” said an army of­fi­cer.

Hand­ing Over Cer­e­mony and First Phase

Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti 2018, be­tween the In­dian Army and the Malaysian Army com­menced on April 30 at Wardieburn Camp, Kuala Lumpur with a brief and im­pres­sive hand­ing over of troops cer­e­mony. Lt Col Ir­wan Ibrahim, Com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the 1st Royal Ranger Reg­i­ment of Malaysian Army wel­comed the In­dian con­tin­gent and wished the In­dian and Malaysian troops a suc­cess­ful and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial joint ex­er­cise.

First phase of the two week long joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise be­gin with the for­mal hand­ing over of the Reg­i­men­tal Flag to the Malaysian Army sig­ni­fy­ing merg­ing of the two con­tin­gents un­der one Com­man­der. First day also saw brief­ings to the joint con­tin­gent on Malaysian coun­try brief, ex­er­cise set­ting and se­cu­rity as­pects. The day ended with a keenly con­tested friendly Vol­ley Ball match, which the vis­i­tors could fi­nally snatch af­ter a stiff com­pe­ti­tion. Both armies stand to hone their tac­ti­cal and tech­ni­cal skills in counter in­sur­gency and counter ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tions un­der the UN man­date. Due em­pha­sis will be laid on in­creas­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity be­tween forces which is cru­cial for suc­cess of any joint op­er­a­tion. Ba­sic drills and pro­ce­dures and the sur­vival tech­niques in jun­gles were dis­cussed and prac­ticed. Malaysian army is well versed in op­er­a­tions in the jun­gles and ex­plained very use­ful tech­niques of sur­vival in the jun­gles.

In this phase the In­dian Army’s com­bat en­gi­neers also ex­changed mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion with the Malaysian Army on im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices (IEDs), and con­struc­tion of traps in the jun­gle in which the In­dian Army is one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced in the world hav­ing fought the LTTE in Sri Lanka and ex­pe­ri­ence gained in fight­ing the home grown in­sur­gen­cies in J&K, Pun­jab, and the North East over the past 60 years or so.

Sec­ond Phase

This phase started on May 7, 2018, with the troops with the ex­er­cise venue shift­ing to the tropical rain forests of Hulu Lan­gat in Malaysia. Here the troops fo­cused on the con­duct of coun­terin­sur­gency op­er­a­tions in jun­gle ter­rain. Start­ing with the ba­sics of cam­ou­flage and con­ceal­ment in the jun­gle, the con­duct in­volved pa­trolling in the jun­gle to seek and de­stroy the op­po­nents and to ac­quire in­for­ma­tion. The drills were ex­e­cuted flaw­lessly by both sides with a sim­u­lated en­emy in place.

Prac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions in­volv­ing re­con­nais­sance of am­bush sites and con­duct of am­bush as also meth­ods of coun­ter­ing an am­bush were all prac­ticed against a sim­u­lated en­emy un­der re­al­is­tic op­er­a­tional con­di­tions. Jun­gle ter­rain re­quires not only phys­i­cal fit­ness but also men­tal ro­bust­ness to re­main men­tally bal­anced fac­ing the chal­lenges con­fronted in jun­gle ter­rain where the en­emy could ap­pear from any di­rec­tion and where sur­vival it­self is a chal­lenge. It also re­quires a very high stan­dard of train­ing and co­or­di­na­tion among all mem­bers of tac­ti­cal units and sub­units be­cause ul­ti­mately ac­tual op­er­a­tions in the jun­gles in­volve tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions at lower lev­els of com­mand such as sec­tions, pla­toons and com­pa­nies and hence lower level com­man­ders (sec­tion and pla­toon com­man­ders) have to take the ini­tia­tive and progress the op­er­a­tions. Thus suc­cess de­pends on the ac­tions of ev­ery mem­ber of the team.

Clos­ing Cer­e­mony

Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti 2018 be­tween In­dian and Malaysian Armies con­cluded with a clos­ing cer­e­mony at the tropical rain­forests of Hulu Lan­gat on May 11, 2018. The grand fi­nale of the ex­er­cise was a tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tion on con­duct of at­tack on en­emy camp.

The clos­ing cer­e­mony marked the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti 2018. The event be­gan with cus­tom­ary salute to Bri­gadier Gen­eral Ab­dul Ma­lik Bin Ji­ran, Com­man­der 12 In­fantry Bri­gade, fol­lowed by na­tional an­them of both the na­tions. Ex­er­cise arm bands were taken off from the ex­er­cise ap­point­ments and the Reg­i­men­tal flag of GRE­NADIERS was handed back to Col S.N. Karthikeyan, CO 4 GRE­NADIERS by Lt Col Ir­wan Bin Ibrahim, CO 1 Royal Ranger Reg­i­ment sym­bol­is­ing the hand­ing over of the troops back to the In­dian Con­tin­gent Com­man­der at the end of the Ex­er­cise.

In his clos­ing ad­dress, the Com­man­der com­pli­mented the troops from both the con­tin­gents for their ex­em­plary con­duct, high morale and tac­ti­cal acu­men through­out the ex­er­cise. He also com­pli­mented the In­dian con­tin­gent for as­sim­i­lat­ing and un­der­stand­ing the nu­ances of jun­gle op­er­a­tions as per Malaysian doc­trine and fight­ing shoul­der to shoul­der with their Malaysian coun­ter­parts. The cer­e­mony came to a close with the war cries of both the con­tin­gents and cus­tom­ary recital of prayers by the Malaysian Army.

Mridul Ku­mar, In­dian High Com­mis­sioner to Malaysia, also vis­ited the Ex­er­cise con­tin­gents at the Ex­er­cise area and com­pli­mented the troops on suc­cess­ful completion of the joint train­ing ex­er­cise. He was highly ap­pre­cia­tive of the high spir­its and ex­em­plary drills shown by the con­tin­gents un­der chal­leng­ing con­di­tions and in­clement weather.

The pro­fes­sional acu­men, op­er­a­tional abil­i­ties, bat­tle drills and phys­i­cal en­durance dis­played by the con­tin­gents over the last fort­night, were of ex­tremely high stan­dard and an apt re­flec­tion of the level of in­ter­op­er­abil­ity achieved dur­ing the ex­er­cise. The con­tin­gents from In­dian and Malaysian armies have been able to share their ex­pe­ri­ences in counter in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions and learn from each other. The fu­ture edi­tions of Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti will surely take this legacy for­ward and will en­sure that the two na­tions con­tinue to main­tain close de­fence ties in en­sur­ing peace and se­cu­rity in the re­gion.

Ex­er­cise Hari­mau Shakti 2018 in progress

PHO­TOGRAPHS: In­dian Army

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.