The concluding ceremony of Indo-Sri Lanka joint training exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI – 2019’ was held at Aundh Military Station, Pune. The concluding ceremony was witnessed by General Officer Commanding Shahbaaz Division in presence of senior Army officers of both the participating countries. The Sri Lankan delegation was led by Major General HPNK Jayapathirane, RSP.
Speaking to Republic TV, Major General Anil Kumar Kashid said, “On behalf of my Chief General Bipin Rawat, I feel grateful towards everyone present on the conclusion day of the joint exercise. We have seen more than once, that everytime we have conducted operations with other country's contingents it has helped to develop the relations between two countries. This is the best practice that our contingents have given”.
The drills in the joint exercise included mock sessions like rooftop insertion of troops by a helicopter, slithering down of the troops from the choppers, house clearance drill, room intervention drill, along with drills on raiding terrorist camps and more. The Major General spoke about the challenges faced by the contingents, attributing it mainly to a language barrier. "But still our jawans are so capable of tackling the problems that they work together with the help of body language.”
The aim of the joint training exercise was to build and promote positive relations between the armies of India and Sri Lanka with a focus on sub-unit-level training for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the urban and rural environment under the United Nations (UN) mandate. A contingent comprising of 120 personnel each from the Sri Lankan and the Indian Army participated in the exercise.
The 14-day long exercise focused on enhancing interoperability for developing the capability to undertake joint operations in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate. The joint training exercise concluded with a 48-hour long concluding exercise which was witnessed by Senior Military and Defense officials of the Indian Army and representatives of the Sri Lankan Army.
Both the contingents also displayed a high degree of enthusiasm and professionalism while practicing various terrorism drills during the joint training exercise which proved to be a great learning experience for both the contingents. The conduct of such bilateral military training exercise is an important step to uphold the values of peace, prosperity, international brotherhood and trust. The exercise was a grand success and has taught valuable lessons to the troops of the participating countries.