Indian, Nepali armies hold joint military exercise
Posted on Mar 06 2014 | IANS
By Anil Giri, Kathmandu, March 6 : The armies of Nepal and India are holding a joint military exercise named 'Surya Kiran VI' at the Integrated Army Training Centre (IATC) at Saljhandi in Rupanddehi district of southern Nepal.
According to the Nepal Army Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), an infantry battalion of each country's army -- comprising 250 officers and personnel from the Indian Army and 200 from the Nepal -- are taking part in the joint military exercise that started Wednesdaay. The training slots which were initially started from the platoon level have now been upgraded to the battalion level.
During the two-week-long exercise, the armies from both sides will upgrade their practical and principle aspects of jungle warfare, anti-insurgency operation, rescue operation, and share experiences on counter-terrorist operations.
The exercise also includes a detailed training in organisation and conduct of disaster response, management and rescue operation.
Nepal Army's Maj. Gen. Victor J.B. Rana inaugurated the joint military exercise and interacted with participants, according to the DPR.
This is the sixth such military exercise between the Nepalese and Indian armies and third in Nepal.
A top Nepal Army official told IANS that Indian Army chief Gen. Bikram Singh is scheduled to observe the joint exercise March 14 along with his Nepali counterpart, Gen. Gaurav Sumsher Rana. He will be arriving in Kathmandu March 13.
The two army chiefs will also discuss the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two armies as well as extending Indian military cooperation to the Nepal Army. The training is scheduled to conclude March 18.
Initially, the Indian Army took the lead in 2011 and concluded the first counter-insurgency and jungle warfare exercise in Mizoram state in India in 2011. Since then, the two sides have been holding the joint military exercise in either country on a regular basis.
"During this training, troops will be able to entail anti-insurgency and jungle warfare in a practical way," said a statement released by the Nepal Army, adding that that such training will also help to understand various aspects of military skills and practices at lower level through experience sharing.
Earlier, the fourth series of exercise 'Surya Kiran' was held in Pithoragarh in India in September-October where Gen. Rana participated as chief guest at the concluding ceremony.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at [email protected])