With special emphasis on increasing the use of modern communication, reconnaissance and weapon technologies, the joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka concluded in Pune on Thursday. The 14-day exercise, Mitra Shakti, had focussed on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
On the last day of the exercise, a joint operations team of both armies conducted a mock drill on how to counter a terror attack in a semi-urban environment. The mock drill involved insertion of troops, by climbing down with ropes from helicopters, and destroying a terrorist hideout.
Mitra Shakti, which was being held at the Aundh Military Station from October 13, also included exercises on understanding transnational terrorism, developing interoperability and conducting a joint tactical operation controlled by a Joint Command Post.
On Thursday, the First Mahar Regiment of the Indian Army and the Sinha Regiment of the Sri Lankan Army conducted a joint tactical drill at the training area of the Aundh Military Station, before the closing ceremony brought curtains down on the exercise.
The highlight of the drill was the use of weaponry, communication and reconnaissance tools by the joint contingent.
Brigadier Alok Chandra from the Indian Army, who is the Brigade Commander for the Pune-based 330 Infantry Brigade, and was one of the military observers for the exercise, said in his concluding remarks, “Terrorism is the world’s most fearsome enemy and transcends all borders. The availability of high-technology weapons and equipment with the trans-national terrorist organisations has increased the intensity of this challenge. Therefore, the joint capabilities have to be accordingly developed by the countries fighting this menace.”
He added, “The exercise has nurtured an enormous bond among our troops, which will further augment the bilateral relations between both nations. Our nation and our armies are on the forefront to address the threat of terrorism through our collective operational capability, and this has been further enhanced through the joint exercise just conducted, wherein we have been able to exchange our tactical abilities on operations at the grassroot level.”
Lieutenant Colonel Sumedha Rangama, from the Sri Lankan contingent, said, “Technology and warfare must run parallel to each other, like two rail-lines. If they cross paths, there will be disaster and if they deviate from each other, again there will be disaster. So, the use of modern technology as per the need of the time is a necessity.”
As he declared the exercise closed, military observer from Sri Lanka, Brigadier Ajith Pallawela, said in his concluding remarks, “During the joint training exercise, both contingents live together, share, and learn, experiences from each other. In this way, both armies not only improve techniques and tactics, but also enhance mutual trust and build up a profound friendship. The outstanding military prowess and excellent combat style of the Indian Army has impressed us deeply. Especially, the Commanding Officer came… in person… many times, and gave us a warm reception and thoughtful arrangements, which guaranteed the success of this joint training exercise. I thank you on behalf on the Sri Lanka observer delegation.”