India, France gear up for mega joint military exercise in Rajasthan

Indo French exercise
Sikh regiment troops of Indian Army preparing for Indo-French exercise 'Shakti', at the Mahajan field firing ranges in Pokhran

New Delhi (NVI): Enhancing defence cooperation and interoperability between India and France, the two countries are all geared up for a joint military exercise ‘SHAKTI’ focusing on counter-terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain of Rajasthan from October 31 to November 13.

The exercise SHAKTI is the biennial exercise, conducted alternately in India and France under United Nations mandate. This year it is going to be held in India at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan. This bilateral training exercise is the series of ‘Exercise SHAKTI’ which commenced between India and France in year 2011.

The French army personnel arrived in India on October 26 for the training with Indian personnel.

This year, a contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent Indian Army in this exercise whereas the French army delegation will be represented by personnel of 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of 6th Armoured Brigade.

It will focus on Counter-Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate. The training will focus primarily on the high degree of physical fitness, sharing of the drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.

The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies. The exercise will culminate in a 36 hrs long validation exercise which will involve neutralization of terrorists in a village hideout.

–PS