India-Malaysia Conducts Joint Exercise ‘Harimau Shakti’ in Malaysia

For the first time, a large-scale joint training exercise is being conducted on the land of Malaysia and the soldiers of India and Malaysia.

The Indian and Malaysian armies are conducting a joint training exercise ‘Harimau Shakti’ in the dense forests of Sengai Paddick in Halo Lunar of Malaysia. The exercise started on 30 April and will go on till 13 May.

The exercise commenced on 30 April at Wardieburn Camp, Kuala Lumpur with a brief and impressive handing over of troops ceremony. Lt Col Irwan Ibrahim, Commanding officer of the 1st Royal Ranger Regiment of Malaysian Army welcomed the Indian contingent and wished the Indian and Malaysian troops for a successful and mutually beneficial joint exercise.

Objective

The exercise aims to increase mutual cooperation and coordination between the two armies and share expertise in the operation of chaos prevention operations in dense forests.

2015 Visit

During the visit of Prime Minister to Malaysia in November 2015, both sides agreed to strengthen defence cooperation including enhancing defence exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels as also through Service-to-Service Staff Talks.

Both sides have also agreed to upgrade the bilateral joint exercise ‘HARIMAU SHAKTI’ to company level and to set up SU-30 Forum for cooperation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues, etc. Setting up of the Forum was also discussed during the Air Staff Talks in April, 2016.

The Ambassadors

The Indian Army is represented by the 4 grenadiers. This battalion has rich experience of traditional and chaos prevention action.

The Malaysian army is represented by the Royal Rangers Regiment and the soldiers of the Royal Malay Regiment. Both of these regiments are known for expertise in the jungle war.

Phases of Harimau Shakti

First phase of the two week long joint military exercise began with the formal handing over of the Regimental Flag to the Malaysian Army signifying merging of the two contingents under one Commander.

First day also saw briefings to the joint contingent on Malaysian country brief, exercise settings and security aspects. The day ended with a keenly contested friendly Volley Ball match, which the visitors could finally snatch after a tiff competition.

The first training phase will be organized in the jungles of Hulu Langat and after 7 days field training phase will be organized wherein both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of training activities.

Future Impacts

Exercise Harimau Shakti is a positive step in the bilateral relations between the two nations. The conduct of such exercises in future will enable mutual capacity enhancement and assist in building strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between India and Malaysia.

Conclusion

Both Indian and Malaysian armies stand to hone their tactical and technical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under the UN mandate. As part of the exercise, both countries will share the expertise of each other’s parties to conduct a joint training exercise in the dense forests. Due emphasis is being laid on increasing interoperability between forces which is crucial for success of any joint operation.

Overall, the exercise will not only provide an excellent opportunity to both the armies to hone their operational skills but will also contribute to enhance the strategic partnership between India and Malaysia.

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