Dharma Guardian, the joint military drills between India and Japan, will be held at the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School Vairengte in Mizoram from October 19 to November 2. The Dharma Guardian is an annual training exercise, which is being held in India since 2018.
A Defence Ministry release said that the Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF) comprising 25 soldiers each will participate in the Dharma Guardian exercise with an objective to share experience attained during various counter-terrorism operations.
The release said that among military training exercises done by India with various countries, Dharma Guardian exercise with Japan is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of global terrorism.
The scope of the exercise covers platoon-level joint training on counter-terrorism operations in the jungle and urban scenario. The release said that the exercise will enhance the level of defence cooperation between the two forces.
Dharma Guardian Exercise 2018
The first iteration of the Dharma Guardian exercise between the Indian Army and Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) was held Mizoram. “The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in urban and semi-urban terrain,” a statement released by the Indian Ministry of Defense said.
The statement also outlined the exercise’s focus on counterterrorism operations and increasing the interoperability of the Indian Army and the GSDF. The Indian side was represented by the 6/1 Gorkha Rifles and the GSDF was represented by the 32 Infantry Regiment.
The Dharma Guardian exercise in 2018 was also held at Vairengte in northern Mizoram where India’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School is based. India regularly hosts visiting units from a range of countries at the school.
The exercise marks an important step in the continuing expansion of the military-to-military relationship between India and Japan. India and Japan announced that the two sides would hold joint exercises between their armies, air forces, and navies going forward. India and Japan will also negotiate an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, which will allow each country reciprocal access to the other’s bases and facilities for logistics and resupply.