India is actively participating with various countries in military exercises for a long time to develop good relationships with them. Currently, India is going through another exercise with the army of United Kingdom. Over a hundred personnel from British Army arrived in Jaipur on 29 November to take part in the joint military exercise. The exercise is named as Ajeya Warrior 2017. They arrived at the Sanganer airport where Indian Army officials received them.
The British contingent then proceeded directly to the exercise location in Mahajan Field Range in Rajasthan where the exercise commenced from 1 December.
About Ajeya Warrior:
- Ajeya Warrior is a joint exercise between the Indian Army and Royal British Army.
- This is the 3rd joint military exercise between the two countries.
- The Exercise is held once in two years, alternatively in India and the UK.
Aim of the exercise:
- The aim of the Exercise is “to build and promote positive military relations between Indian and UK Army and to enhance their ability and interoperability to undertake joint tactical level operations in Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism Environment under United Nations Charter”.
- The exercise further focuses on enhancing and exchanging skills and experience between the Indian Army and the Royal British Army.
Ajeya Warrior 2017:
- Approx one hundred and twenty participating troops for the exercise from Indian Army are being represented from 20th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles.
- About 100 soldiers of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglican Regiment will participate from the Royal British Army.
- The training contingents comprise of approximately 120 soldiers (one company) strength each.
- 20 Raj Rif has extensive experience in counter-terrorism operations, while the 1 Royal Anglican Regiment has been involved in combat operations across Afghanistan and Iraq.
- The exercise is being conducted in Rajasthan at the Mahajan Field Firing Range.
- The exercise started with address by Lt Colonel Sangram Yadav and Major David Granfield.
- The 14-day exercise will see participation of Army personnel from both the countries, scheduled from 1 December 2017 to 14 December 2017, which is scheduled to be conducted in multiple modes in order to achieve complete integration between the two contingents at every stage.
- The exercise will provide field commanders and the troops an opportunity to interact with each other in matters professional, social and cultural.
History of Ajeya Warrior 2017:
The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum and the second exercise in 2015, when an Indian Army contingent had visited the United Kingdom.
The India-UK joint military training first began on 04 April 2013. It was held in the hills of Belgaum, Karanataka and simulated a scenario where both nations worked together in a counter terrorism operation.
This was one of the major ongoing bilateral defence coorporations between the two countries. It was the fifth in the series which initially started as a biennial feature in 2007 to be held in India and UK alternatively.
The four-week exercise witnessed about 100 personnel of the Royal Welsh Regiment of the UK Army and a similar strength of a battalion of the Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army. During the exercise, the first week comprised of familiarization with the organisation, weapons and equipment of both the armies. In the second week tactical drills of the two countries were demonstrated and practiced.
Both countries had troops deployed in active Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorism operations and thus sharing each other’s operational experiences in such diverse environment is of immense value. The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants are initially made to get familiar with each other’s organisational structure, weapons, equipment, confidence training and tactical drills.
Subsequently, the training advanced to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies were coherently unleashed. The exercise is a great step for the armies of the two democratic countries to train together and gain together from each other’s rich operational experiences.
The next Joint Exercise between the armies of India and UK, was conducted from 13 June to 28 June 2015 at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plains Training Area, UK.
A Company strength from a Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment participated from the Indian Army.
During this time, an accident involving troop carrier vehicles of British Forces took place while returning after the conduct of training between Indian and British Forces at Salisbury Plains, Near Westdown Camp in United Kingdom on 17 Jun 2015.
Two soldiers of the Indian Army sustained leg fractures and minor injuries were suffered by some other soldiers.