Contingents of the Bangladesh Army will take part in a joint exercise with the Indian Army later this month at a newly established training centre at Umroi in Meghalaya, which will be followed by similar exercises by the Indian Army with their counterparts from China and Myanmar next year, thus promoting positive relations between troops of the neighbouring countries.
Informing this, Guwahati-based Defence PRO Lt Col Suneet Newton said the Indo-Bangladesh joint training exercise – aptly named Sampriti 2017 – would be held from Monday. While a six-day Command Post Exercise (CPX) would be held at the newly established Joint Training Node at Umroi (near Shillong) from November 6, a 13-day Field Training Exercise (FTX) would be conducted at the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairangte in Mizoram, also from Monday.
“Exercise Sampriti is held alternately in India and Bangladesh every year with an aim to build and promote positive relations between the Armies of India and Bangladesh. It also aims to enhance interoperability between the two nations and enrich from each other’s experience while carrying out Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist operations,” Defence PRO Newton said.
While 20 officers each from both the Armies would participate in the Command Post Exercise as part of Brigade and Battalion Command Posts in Umroi, one Infantry company each from the Bangladesh Army and the elite Red Horns Division of the Indian Army would take part in the Field Training Exercise, he informed. This incidentally will be the seventh such joint exercise between India and Bangladesh.
Giving details, Lt Col Newton said that Command Post Exercise would focus on practicing joint planning and conduct of counter-terrorist operations in semi-mountainous terrain with a special focus on drills and procedures followed while operating in dense jungles. The Field Training Exercise, on the other hand, would emphasise on physical conditioning, training on special heli-borne operations, neutralisation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), cordon and search operations and company/platoon-level tactical drills in counter-terrorist operations scenario.
“It will also send a strong signal to the world that both India and Bangladesh understand the emerging threat of transnational terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder united in countering this menace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kohima-based Defence PRO Col Charnjeet Konwar said the Joint Training Node set up at Umroi would have contingents from the Myanmarese and Chinese Armies for separate joint exercises with the Indian Army. “Nestled amongst the tranquil foot hills of Meghalaya, the Joint Training Node at Umroi is ready to host the Bangladesh Army for the first-ever joint exercise there. Exercises with the Myanmar and Chinese Armies are also planned in later part of next year,” Col Konwar informed.
With the establishment of the joint training centre at Umroi – about 15 km from Shillong and 80 km from Guwahati – the Indian Army now has four such centres, the others being in Belgaum (Karnataka), Vairangte (Mizoram) and Bakloh (Himachal Pradesh). “Umroi however is Eastern Command’s first of its kind independent and fully integrated joint training node for foreign armies,” Col Konwar added.