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India-France joint military exercise commences in Meghalaya

By Abdul Gani
India-France joint military exercise commences in Meghalaya

Guwahati, May 13:The 7th edition of the India-France joint military exercise, Shakti, commenced in a fully developed and modern foreign training node at Umroi in Meghalaya on Monday. The exercise will continue till May 26.

The opening ceremony of the joint exercise was attended by Thierry Mathou, Ambassador of France to India and Major General Prasanna Sudhakar Joshi, general officer commanding 51 Sub Area.

“Exercise Shakti is a biennial training event conducted alternatively in India and France. The last edition was conducted in France in November 2021. The Indian contingent, comprising 90 personnel, is being represented primarily by a battalion of the Rajpur Regiment, besides personnel from other arms and services. Observers from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force will also form part of the exercise,” mentioned a press release.

The French contingent, comprising 90 personnel, will be represented mainly by personnel from the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade (13th DBLE).

The aim of Exercise Shakti is to enhance the joint military capability of both sides to undertake multi-domain operations in a sub-conventional scenario under Chapter VII of the United Nations Mandate. The joint exercise will focus on operations in the semi-urban and mountainous terrain.

“Objectives to be achieved from the joint training are a high degree of physical fitness, rehearsing and refining drills for operations at the tactical level and sharing of best practices,” the statement further added.

Tactical drills to be practiced during the exercise will include response to a terrorist action capturing a defined territory, the establishment of a joint command post, the establishment of an intelligence & surveillance centre, securing of a helipad/ landing site, small team insertion & extraction, special heliborne operations, cordon & search operations, besides employment of drones and counter-drone systems, among others.

Exercise Shakti will enable the two sides to share their best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting joint operations. The joint exercise will facilitate the development of interoperability, bonhomie and camaraderie between armed forces personnel from the two countries.

This will also enhance the level of defence cooperation, further fostering bilateral relations between the two friendly nations.

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