Hello, Warriors! Indo-French joint military training ‘Exercise Shakti-2016’ commenced at the Mahajan field firing range in Bikaner on 8th January with the opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of national anthems, “Jana Gana Mana” and “La Marseillaise”.
The programme got off to a spectacular start with the parade of the two contingents which was followed by a perfect acrobatic performance. A melodious band display thereafter was followed by para drop. The event ended with the release of colourful balloons.
Here are the 9 things that you need to know about Exercise Shakti-2016:
- The French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade and led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie will represent France.
- The 35th Infantry Regiment’s origin dates back to its raising in 1604 at Lorraine (France). The regiment has as many as 12 battle honours to its credit. The battalion has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places.
- This is the third edition in the series of bilateral exercises under this banner.
- The exercise would be conducted in two phases, namely combat conducting and tactical training and validation exercise.
- Indian side is being represented by the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles which is part of the Sapta Shakti Command which has varied experience in counter-insurgency/counter-terrorist operations.
- The unit has been put through a strenuous training schedule to prepare for the exercise, which includes firing, combat conditioning, tactical operations, heli-borne operations among others.
- The unit was bestowed with the prestigious Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Citation and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command Unit Citation for maintaining law and order, keeping terrorism under check and maintaining sanctity of the border in the northern theatre.
- During the exercise, participants will engage in variety of missions from joint planning, cordon and search operations, search and rescue, joint tactical drills and basics of special arms skills.
- This exercise will culminate in a tactical exercise encompassing clearing of pockets of terrorists in rural and urban environment.
The joint exercise will facilitate both armies to know each other better, share their experiences and enhance their situational awareness through information exchange. This will help them in undertaking joint operations at platoon level for neutralization of terrorist threat under the ambit of United Nations Mandate.