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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

India-Sri Lanka bilateral exercise, Mitra Shakti, to kick off today

The exercise aims to promote close relations between the armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 4, 2021 5:34:56 pm
The exercise aims to promote close relations between the armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. (Representational Image: PTI)

Two years after its 7th edition was held at Foreign Training Node in Pune, the 8th edition of India-Sri Lanka bilateral Joint Exercise, Mitra Shakti, will be conducted at Combat Training School, Ampara, in Sri Lanka from Monday, October 4, to October 15.

The aim of the exercise is to promote close relations between armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

Mitra Shakti, which translates to ‘power of friendship’, is carried out under a United Nations (UN) mandate as both the armies contribute to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, which are deployed in troubled areas across the world.

An all-arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army is participating in the exercise along with a battalion of the Sri Lankan Army.

“The exercise will involve tactical level operations at sub-unit level in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment and will go a long way in further strengthening the relationship between both the South Asian Nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at the grass-root level between both Armies,” a press statement from the Ministry of Defence said.

The 7th Edition of Exercise Mitra Shakti was conducted at Foreign Training Node, which is located at the Aundh Military Station in Pune, in December 2019. These exercises are conducted every year, alternating between India and Sri Lanka. They were deferred in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The exercise is also important from the defence diplomacy point of view, considering the dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region, officials said.

In the seventh edition, a contingent from the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and the Gemunu Watch infantry regiment of Sri Lanka had participated from the two countries. At that time, the contingents had received lessons in perception management and information warfare, human rights and humanitarian law, along with the Counter Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism (CI-CT) operations in urban and rural environments.

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