Training Events & Military Exercises: Civil Services Mentor Magazine: February - 2017

Training Events & Military Exercises

India is playing a huge interest in the international relations of the world. From many years India wants to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Military excercises play a very important role in developing international relations and also building trust between the countries which are at dispute. Military excercises also help in reducing the chances of future dispute. Participation in international level military exercises is an indication of the highest level of trust and confidence between the member nations. It is a key confidence building measure (CBM) and an indication of the faith reposed by India on another nation or a group of member nations.

Military excercises also play a very important role in understanding the good points from other countries. Military exercises enable militaries to understand each other's drills and procedures, overcome language barriers, and facilitate familiarisation with equipment capabilities. Along with understanding drills, military excercises also help with understanding the new technologies that other countries may be utilising. These military excercises are very helpful in cases of joint excercises. They are also helpful in humanitarian aid, disaster relief, anti-piracy, etc - when nations come together for a common cause. A fine example was the aid assistance provided by a host of nations during the tsunami in South East Asia where a massive land, air and sea rescue effort was successfully executed to provide relief to the affected countries.

Perhaps, the most important advantage of joint military exercises is 'strategic signalling'. A joint exercise with one or more nations serves the purpose of signalling to a third country of the influence we have in the region and a demonstration of our resolve to further our diplomatic objectives. On the intangible side, military exercises promote brotherhood and camaraderie between soldiers and militaries. Besides goodwill, it is a tool for projection of a nation's soft power - culture, language, customs, beliefs, food habits and lifestyle. Soldiers all over the world have almost similar rank and organisational structures, which helps establish a unique spirit of bonding and friendship between their communities irrespective of the country of origin.

Important Joint Military Exercises by India in 2016 are given below:

India-France Joint Military 'Exercise Shakti - 2016'was conducted from 6-16 Jan. 'Exercise Shakti-2016' is the seventh edition in the series of bilateral exercises. The exercise was conducted in two phases. Both armies shared valuable combat experience on countering terrorist operations in an international environment.

India-Nepal Combined Military Training 'Exercise Surya Kiran IX' was conducted at Pithoragarh from 8-21 Feb under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade/ Central Command. An Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army and Shree RudraDhoj Battalion of the Nepalese Army participated.

India-Indonesia Joint Training 'Exercise Garuda Shakti IV' The fourth edition of the joint exercise was conducted for 13 days from 10-23 Mar at Magelang, Indonesia. A platoon of an Infantry Battalion from Southern Command theatre carried out joint training with a platoon from 503 Airborne Battalion of the Indonesian Army.

'Exercise Force -18', the largest ground forces multinational field training exercise on 'Humanitarian Mine Action and Peacekeeping Operations' culminated at Pune on 8 Mar. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Dalbir Singh presided over the closing ceremony. The week long exercise saw participation of over 300 foreign participants and observers from ASEAN Plus countries. Lt Col Sofia Qureshi was selected to lead the Indian army training contingent of 40 personnel during this exercise. She was the first woman to lead the Indian Army in an 18-nation military exercise.

'Exercise Shatrujeet': COAS General Dalbir Singh witnessed 'Exercise Shatrujeet' in Rajasthan on 22 Apr. The COAS was briefed on operational plans and conduct of the exercise by GOC, Strike Corps Lt Gen ShokinChauhan. The exercise is part of regular training where the Strike Corps practices and hones war fighting skills.

'Exercise Chakravyuh-II': In a follow up to 'Exercise Shatrujeet' by the Strike Corps (Strike One) in April, the pivot formations held the fortnight-long military training exercise,'Exercise Chakravyuh-II' in Rajasthan. The exercise conceptualized by the Pivot Corps involved rapid mobilization and execution of plans in sync with the Air Force in desert terrain. It was a success. The exercise validated the battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the RAPID Division along with all its affiliated components.

'Exercise Jalrahat': As a step towards achieving the goals of National Disaster Management Plan 2016 released by the Prime Minister on 1 June and with the outlines of identifying high risk disaster areas and coordination between the Armed Forces, NDRF and State Disaster Management Agencies along with other State Emergency services, a mock exercise and demonstration under 'Exercise Jalrahat' was conducted on 29 June in Shantipur area of Guwahati on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

'Exercise Maitree': A joint exercise of the Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army was held from 15-30 July in Thailand. The aim was to train contingents of both armies on conduct of counter-terrorist operations in an urban environment. The exercise was designed to enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the two armies.

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