In­dian Army on an Ex­er­cise Spree

Con­tribut­ing to the In­dian diplo­matic and strate­gic out­reach, In­dian Army, in last one month, has been in­volved in var­i­ous bi­lat­eral and multi-lat­eral ex­er­cises

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IN LAST FEW YEARS, the num­ber and du­ra­tion of bi­lat­eral mil­i­tary ex­er­cises between In­dia and other friendly na­tions have seen ex­po­nen­tial rise. In the last one month In­dian Army has been in­volved in five ma­jor ex­er­cises in­clud­ing the in­au­gu­ral BIMSTEC mil­i­tary ex­er­cise.

In­au­gu­ral MILEX-18 comes to an end

The week long in­au­gu­ral Mil­i­tary Field Train­ing Ex­er­cise for the Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi Sec­toral Tech­no­log­i­cal and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (BIMSTEC) na­tions named ‘MILEX-18’, af­ter a Val­i­da­tion Ex­er­cise and an im­pres­sive Clos­ing Cer­e­mony held at For­eign Train­ing Node, Aundh Mil­i­tary Sta­tion, Pune, on Septem­ber 16.

Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Sub­hash Bhamre presided over the clos­ing cer­e­mony which at­tended by “other dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Shahidul Is­lam, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of BIMSTEC fo­rum, Ser­vice Chiefs of BIMSTEC na­tions, se­nior Mil­i­tary of­fi­cers of the In­dian Army and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the BIMSTEC Na­tions.”

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Bhamre said, “The MILEX-18 Ex­er­cise has pro­vided us all an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the is­sue of Coun­ter­ing Ter­ror­ism from the mil­i­tary point of view with an en­deav­our to cre­ate synergy, bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and evolv­ing of an in­sti­tu­tion­alised mech­a­nism for re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in the field of Counter Ter­ror­ist Op­er­a­tions.

Dur­ing the Val­i­da­tion Ex­er­cise, tac­ti­cal drills such as Hostage Res­cue by in­ser­tion of troops from he­li­copters, Room In­ter­ven­tion as well as House Clear­ing Drill as part of Cordon and Search Op­er­a­tions, Raid on a Ter­ror­ist Hide­out and neu­tral­i­sa­tion of Im­pro­vised Ex­plo­sive De­vices (IED) were car­ried out.

The pur­pose of the ex­er­cise was to “demon­strated the com­mit­ment and ca­pa­bil­i­ties” of the par­tic­i­pat­ing armies while work­ing to­gether to fight ter­ror­ism.

The ex­er­cise was fol­lowed by an ex­hi­bi­tion or­gan­ised by the Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Cham­bers of Com­merce & In­dus­try (FICCI) where more than 250 in­dige­nously de­vel­oped de­fence equip­ment were dis­played. “Al­most 20 dif­fer­ent agen­cies deal­ing with de­fence equip­ment par­tic­i­pated in the dis­play in­clud­ing Ord­nance Fac­to­ries, De­fence and Re­search De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), lead­ing pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies, star­tups etc to show­case some of the lat­est weapon sys­tems and ve­hi­cles pro­duced in­dige­nously.”

KAZIND – 2018 com­mences

In­dia and Kaza­khstan be­gan their joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise KAZIND-2018 in Otar Mil­i­tary Area, Kaza­khas­tan. The two weeks long ex­er­cise is be­ing con­ducted from Septem­ber 10-23. “The Kazakh con­tin­gent is rep­re­sented by Mil­i­tary Base 85395 while the In­dian side is rep­re­sented by 5 LADAKH SCOUTS Reg­i­ment,” Min­istry of De­fence said in a state­ment. Upon ar­rival of In­dian con­tin­gent, “Gen­eral Ma­jor Dzhu­ma­keev Al­maz, wel­comed the In­dian con­tin­gent and in his in­au­gu­ral re­marks high­lighted the com­mon shared beliefs of free­dom, equal­ity and jus­tice that are pre­cious to both the na­tions,” it said. On the in­au­gu­ral day, the sides briefed each other on their or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­ture. The Kazak army also dis­played its weapons and equip­ments used at the sub-unit level.

“Both sides will jointly train, plan and ex­e­cute a se­ries of well de­vel­oped tac­ti­cal drills for neu­tral­i­sa­tion of likely threats that may be en­coun­tered in ur­ban war­fare sce­nario. Ex KAZIND-2018 will con­trib­ute im­mensely in de­vel­op­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and re­spect for each other’s mil­i­tary,” the state­ment added.

SCO Peace Mis­sion 2018

The lat­est edi­tion of the ‘Peace Mis­sion’ se­ries of ex­er­cise of the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) started on Au­gust 24 at Che­barkul, Rus­sia. “The ex­er­cise will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to the armed forces of SCO na­tions to train in counter ter­ror­ism op­er­a­tions in ur­ban sce­nario in a multi­na­tional and joint en­vi­ron­ment. The scope of the ex­er­cise in­cludes pro­fes­sional in­ter­ac­tion, mu­tual un­der­stand­ing of drills & pro­ce­dures, es­tab­lish­ment of joint com­mand and con­trol struc­tures and elim­i­na­tion of ter­ror­ist threat in ur­ban counter ter­ror­ist sce­nario.” MoD said in a state­ment.

In this fifth edi­tion of the ex­er­cise, In­dia is par­tic­i­pat­ing for the first time with 200 per­son­nel whereas Rus­sian Army con­trib­uted 1700 per­son­nel where as other two ma­jor play­ers China is con­tribut­ing 700 soldiers.

The fo­cus of the ex­er­cise was on the anti-ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tions in a multi­na­tional joint ser­vice en­vi­ron­ment. “The ex­er­cise pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to armies of all na­tions for greater cul­tural un­der­stand­ing, shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and strength­en­ing mu­tual trust & co­op­er­a­tion. Over­all SCO Peace Mis­sion Ex­er­cise will con­trib­ute im­mensely in de­vel­op­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and re­spect amongst SCO mem­ber na­tions in fu­ture,” state­ment said.

Maitree 2018

Ex­er­cise Maitree, an Indo-Thai pla­toon level army ex­er­cise, was con­ducted between Au­gust 6-19 in Thai­land. To hone the tac­ti­cal and tech­ni­cal skills in joint counter in­sur­gency and counter ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tions in ru­ral and ur­ban sce­nario un­der UN man­date, Maitree 2018 aims to in­creas­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity between forces from both coun­tries.

Dur­ing the ex­er­cise the two sides jointly trained, planned and ex­e­cuted tac­ti­cal drills of ur­ban war­fare.

The ex­er­cise be­gan with field train­ing fa­mil­iaris­ing each other with ma­neu­ver and op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures. “The se­cond phase in­cluded prac­tic­ing of var­i­ous drills and tac­ti­cal sce­nar­ios in counter in­sur­gency en­vi­ron­ment, ex­e­cu­tion of tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions like search and de­stroy op­er­a­tion, house in­ter­ven­tion and sur­vival tech­niques. The ex­er­cise cul­mi­nated with a 72 hour joint ex­er­cise on plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion of se­ries of tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions like raid, pur­suit, es­tab­lish­ing Mil­i­tary Check Post and cordon and search op­er­a­tions,” the min­istry said in a state­ment.

No­madic Ele­phant-2018

Indo-Mon­go­lia joint ex­er­cise No­madic Ele­phant-2018, com­menced at Mon­go­lian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Train­ing Area, Ul­lan­baatar, Mon­go­lia, on Septem­ber 10, with a brief but im­pres­sive open­ing cer­e­mony. The 12 days long joint ex­er­cise con­cluded on Septem­ber 21 Septem­ber. It is an an­nual, bi­lat­eral ex­er­cise be­ing con­ducted since 2006. It is de­signed to strengthen the part­ner­ship between the two armed forces. The ex­er­cise saw the two sides im­prove their tac­ti­cal and tech­ni­cal skills in joint counter in­sur­gency and counter ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tions in ru­ral and ur­ban sce­nario un­der United Na­tions man­date.

The In­dian was rep­re­sented by a con­tin­gent of 17 PUN­JAB Reg­i­ment while the Mon- go­lian was rep­re­sented by Unit 084. Dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral, Ma­jor Gen­eral J. Badambazar wel­com­ing the In­dian con­tin­gent high­lighted the com­mon shared beliefs of free­dom, equal­ity and jus­tice. In the open­ing cer­e­mony, the sides briefed each other about their or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture and dis­played weapons and equip­ments of the sub-unit level.

“Dur­ing the ex­er­cise both sides will jointly train, plan and ex­e­cute a se­ries of well de­vel­oped tac­ti­cal drills for neu­tral­i­sa­tion of likely threats that may be en­coun­tered in ur­ban war­fare sce­nario. Ex­perts from both sides will also hold de­tailed dis­cus­sions to share their ex­pe­ri­ence on var­ied top­ics for mu­tual ben­e­fits. Ex­er­cise No­madic Ele­phant-2018 will con­trib­ute im­mensely in de­vel­op­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing & re­spect for each other’s mil­i­tary and also fa­cil­i­tate in tack­ling the world wide phe­nom­e­non of ter­ror­ism,” Min­istry said in a state­ment.

Yudh Ab­hyas 2018

The 14th Ex­er­cise Yudh Ab­hyas 2018 a joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise of In­dian and US armies, com­menced on Septem­ber 16 Chaubat­tia, Ut­tarak­hand. The two weeks long will wit­ness par­tic­i­pa­tion of about 350 per­son­nel of the US Army and sim­i­lar strength of the In­dian Army work­ing to­gether hon­ing their counter in­sur­gency and counter ter­ror­ism skills in moun­tain­ous ter­rain.

“The ex­er­cise cur­ricu­lum is pro­gres­sively planned where the par­tic­i­pants are ini­tially made to get fa­mil­iar with each other’s or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture, weapons, equip­ment, con­fi­dence train­ing and tac­ti­cal drills. Sub­se­quently, the train­ing ad­vances to joint tac­ti­cal ex­er­cises wherein the bat­tle drills of both the armies are co­her­ently un­leashed. The train­ing will cul­mi­nate with a fi­nal val­i­da­tion ex­er­cise in which troops of both coun­tries will jointly carry out an op­er­a­tion against ter­ror­ists in a fic­ti­tious but re­al­is­tic set­ting,” Min­istry said in a state­ment.

“Over the years the two coun­tries have de­cided to pro­gres­sively in­crease the scope and con­tent of this joint ex­er­cise. Ex­er­cise Yudh Ab­hyas 2018 will wit­ness a Di­vi­sion Head­quar­ter based Com­mand Post Ex­er­cise, an In­fantry Bat­tal­ion car­ry­ing out Field Train­ing Ex­er­cise and dis­cus­sions on is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est by ex­perts of both coun­tries,” it added.

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