The joint military exercise between Indian Army and Maldives National Defence Force, Exercise Ekuverin-2017, began on 15th December, 2017. The exercise commenced at the Maratha Centre in Belgavi, Karnataka.
During the opening ceremony, a fly-past by the Army Aviation helicopters with flags of both the countries was held. This was followed by march past and review of both the contingents by Commandant, Maratha Centre. A spectacular display was carried out by the Pipes and Drums Band of Sirmoor Rifles. The traditional Sword Display by Sikh troops of BEG, Kirkee had mesmerised the audience.
About Exercise Ekuverin – 2017:
Since 2009, the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force have been conducting Exercise Ekuverin, meaning ‘friends’ in the Dhivehi language.
This exercise is held alternatively in India and Maldives.
This is the 8th exercise of the joint annual training and focuses to enhance interoperability between the two forces for counter-terrorist operations in semi urban environment.
This is a 14-day training exercise and will go on till 28 December.
The Indian Army is being represented by the Sirmoor Rifles and Marine troops of Maldives National Defence Force are representing Maldives.
“The focus of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism operations in an urban or semi-urban environment under the U.N. charter,” the Ministry of Defence said.
2 officers and 43 other ranks are taking part on behalf of Maldives, while the Indian Army is represented by 3 officers, 3 Junior Commissioned Officers and 39 other ranks belonging to a Gorkha Rifles Battalion (Sirmoor Rifles.)
The last exercise was held at Kaddhoo in the Lammu Atol of Maldives. India was represented by a platoon strength from BIHAR Regiment and a similar strength of the Maldivian National Defence Force participated on behalf of Maldives.
Exercise EKUVERIN – 2016 was the 7th edition of Joint Exercise whereas the sixth edition was held at Trivandrum, India in 2015.
Maldives shares very close ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial ties with India. Exercise Ekuverin helps in further strengthening of the ties between the two nations.