This year, the Indian Army participated in over 12 national and international military exercises with friendly foreign countries to boost military ties and relations among them. Here is a review of all the exercises held by the Army in 2016. We suggest you make note of all these exercises as this could be asked in the defence written exams:
- Exercise Shakti – 2016: The Indo – French Joint Military exercise was conducted from 6 to 16 January 2016. ‘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.
- Exercise Surya Kiran IX: This Indo-Nepal combined military training was conducted at Pithoragarh from 08 to 21 February 2016 under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade/Central Command. An Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army and Shree Rudra Dhoj Battalion of the Nepalese Army participated. This was followed by Surya Kiran X from 31 October to 13 November 16.
- Exercise Garuda Shakti IV: The fourth edition of India – Indonesia joint exercise was conducted for 13 days from 10 to 23 March 2016 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: It is the largest ground forces multinational field training exercise on ‘Humanitarian Mine Action and Peacekeeping Operations’ culminated at Pune on 8 March 2016. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Dalbir Singh presided over the closing ceremony. The week-long exercise saw the 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 April 2016. The COAS was briefed on operational plans and conduct of the exercise by GOC, Strike Corps Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan. 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 2016, the pivot formations held the fortnight-long military training exercise, ‘Exercise Chakravyuh-II’ in Rajasthan. The exercise conceptualised by the Pivot Corps involved rapid mobilisation 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 2016 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 2016 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 to 30 July 2016 in Thailand. The aim was to train contingents of both armies on the conduct of counter-terrorist operations in an urban environment. The exercise was designed to enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the two armies.
- Exercise Yudh Abhyas: As part of the continuing Indo – US defence cooperation, the 12th edition of the joint military training ‘Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2016’ was conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 14 to 27 September 2016. The exercise was in a series of one of the longest-running joint military training exercises covering counter-terrorism operations under the flagship of UN for countering international terrorism. It included a series of training events such as cordon and search operation, cliff chop assaults and other training events covering operational activities carried out under the flag of UN Mission.
- Exercise Prabal Dostyk: As a part of India’s continued efforts to strengthen Indo-Kazakh relations, Armies of the two countries had undergone a 14-day joint exercise ‘Prabal Dostyk’ in September 2016. The exercise was conducted in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan.
- Exercise Indra – 2016: As part of continued efforts to further strengthen Indo-Russian friendship, troops of two sides, participated in the eight edition of Joint ‘Exercise Indra – 2016’ from 22 September to 2 October 2016. The 11-day exercise focused on Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in semi-mountainous and jungle terrain under the UN mandate. The exercise was held at the 249th Combined Arms Range, Sergiveskey.
- Sino – Indian Joint Exercise: As part of the ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China, under the provisions of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, 2013, the Indian and Chinese armies held their Second Joint Exercise ‘Sino-India Cooperation 2016’ on 19 October 2016. This was a sequel to the first Joint Exercise held on 6 February 2016 in the Chusul Garrison of Eastern Ladakh.
Apart from this, the Indian Army conducted various adventure activities along with various other operations in 2016.