India, Sri Lanka to begin joint military exercise from today; counter-terror ops on agenda
India and Sri Lanka will carry out a 12-day military exercise from Monday with a focus on improving counter-insurgency and counter-terror cooperation. The defence ministry has said that an all arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army will participate in the exercise along with a battalion-strength contingent of the Sri Lankan Army. "The aim of the exercise is to promote close relations between armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations," the statement said.
The eighth edition of the Mitra Shakti exercise will be conducted at Combat Training School in Sri Lanka's Ampara from October 4-15, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The Indian Army contingent reached Sri Lanka on Sunday to participate in the Mitra Shakti exercise. “Exercise #MitraShakti21. #IndianArmy contingent participating in Exercise Mitra Shakti 21 reached Sri Lanka and received a traditional welcome by the Sri Lankan Army,” the Indian Army tweeted on Sunday.
The joint exercise is designed for incorporating the current dynamics of United Nations' peacekeeping operations through tactical exercises and practical discussions, the defence ministry has said. The ministry informed that the exercise will involve tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment and will go a long way in further strengthening the relationship between both nations. It will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at the grass-root level between both armies, the ministry also said.
The seventh edition was conducted in Pune in December 2019 at Foreign Training Node located at the Aundh Military Station. In that edition, a contingent from the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and the Gemunu Watch infantry regiment of Sri Lanka participated. The contingents received lessons in perception management and information warfare, human rights and humanitarian law, along with the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism (CI-CT) operations in urban and rural environments, reports news agency PTI.
(With inputs from agencies)