Image: Republic World
Amid the fast-evolving Afghanistan situation, India is showcasing its military might to the world. After 16 months of the stand-off with China and six months of a ceasefire agreement with Pakistan, India has participated in a joint military exercise with its neighbours. The military exercise ZAPAD-2021 hosted by Russia started on September 3, wherein troops of over a dozen countries are taking part.
During the exercise, Indian troops showcased their Fire Power Demo wherein Indian Contingent demonstrated its superb battle drills and excellent firing skills. Special Heliborne Operation (SHBO) was also practised by the Ghatak Platoon of Naga Regiment using Russian MI-17 Helicopters. The SHBO by Coalition Forces including India's Ghatak Platoon during the Strategic Exercise showcased impressive drills by armoured vehicles; AAD vehicles were seen firing as a part of the coalition forces led by Russia. Swarm Helicopters were also seen escorting the SHBO on their way to the objective.
Para jump by the Indian Army and Indian Air force commandos in ZAPAD 21 also showcased the combat capability of Indian troops in any kind of war zone.
The countries invited include China, Pakistan, Armenia, Belarus, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Serbia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
A 200 personnel contingent of The NAGA Battalion group participating in the exercise is featuring an all Arms combined task force. While the participating nations plan and execute the exercise, it is aimed to enhance military and strategic ties.
ZAPAD-2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of the Russian Armed Forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists. Over a dozen countries from the Eurasian and South Asian Regions are participating in this signature event. The Joint Strategic Exercise was reviewed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at Mulino Training Ground in the Novgorod region. Indian troops as Coalition Forces participated in the exercise while conducting Combat Free Fall, Special Heliborne Operations and Defensive manoeuvres by the mechanised forces and NAGA Regt.
Exercise Director took part in the planning of operations at the strategic HQ with Russian counterparts to finalise the plan of coalition forces.
The Indian Contingent has been put through a strenuous training schedule that encompasses all facets of conventional operations including mechanised, airborne and heliborne, counter-terrorism, combat conditioning and firing.
In 2019, the Indian Army had participated in Exercise Tsentr with a strength of 140 personnel while staying away from the 2020 Kavkaz exercise, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Kavkaz exercise, China and Pakistan had also participated in the joint exercise.
The two-week-long exercise is going on at Mulino Training Ground in Nizhniy, which is 423 km east of Moscow. ZAPAD-2021 is a part of the annual series of large-scale exercises that are significant to the Russian Armed Force's annual training cycle.
The series rotates through four main Russian strategic Commands, including Zapad (West), Vostok (East), Tsentr (Center), and Kavkaz (Caucasus). Indian troops are not only displaying their strength but also enhancing interoperability with friendly foreign armies in the ZAPAD exercise. India's fine coordination with friendly nations including Russia is sending across a message to China and Pakistan during the Zapad exercise.