The Armies of India and France will jointly carry out military training in counter-terrorism drills from October 31st at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan from October 31st to November 13th. The focus of the operation, “Ex Shakti – 2019” is drafted as per the United Mandate in the backdrop of counter-terrorism in a semi desert terrain.
The Indian Army during the course of the training will be represented by the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command. The 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of the 6th Armoured Brigade will, on the other hand, represent the French Army. The training is a biennial exercise, conducted alternatively in both countries.
The aim of the training is to enhance capability by sharing the practical and tactical knowledge exclusive to both units. It will focus on a high level of physical fitness and learning how to navigate the challenging terrain. The training will come to an end with a 36-hour validation exercise for all personnel.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commenting on the programme said that he had “fruitful deliberations” with his French counterpart to review the bilateral defence agreement in its entirety. The second ministerial Annual Defence Dialogue between Singh and Florence Parly, French Minister of Armed Forces took place on Tuesday night following the handover of the last Rafale Jet to India. The defence minister further said in a statement that “Both leaders also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism.”