The Indian Army Chief, General Bikram Singh and the Nepalese Army Chief, General Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana witnessed the combined training exercise presently underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand.
Lt Gen Rajan Bakhshi, Army Commander Central Command was also present at the occasion.
Based on an agreement during the 7th Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group on Security, the two countries commenced the combined training at platoon level (30 men each) in 2011.
The first two combined exercises focused primarily on jungle warfare and counter insurgency operations. Troops shared their experiences and exhibited skill sets during combined training at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Wirangte in Mizoram and a similar school at Amlekhganj in Nepal.
The level of combined training was upgraded to company level (consisting of approximately 120 men) in 2012, based on experience gained in two exercises in 2011.
The focus of company level combined training in 2012 also on counter insurgency and jungle warfare operations in hilly terrain as the Himalayan region all along Indo-Nepal border is covered with thick jungles amidst rugged Himalayas.
"Surya Kiran V" is the first of the battalion level combined training between India and Nepal in 2013. Approximately 400 soldiers from each Army are participating in the combined exercises underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand.
For both armies, the focus of training this year has been 'Disaster Response' in a geologically disaster prone zones in the Himalayas.
Witnessing the well rehearsed drills in rescue, relief and disaster response techniques exhibited by both the armies, the Army chiefs expressed satisfaction at the level of preparation and coordination displayed by troops.
Both the contingents shared their experiences in handling such situations in future. The exercise also helped in promoting understanding, inter operability and jointness in conduct of operations at battalion level.
Both the chiefs were thoroughly impressed by the high standards of training and synergy displayed by the participating contingents and complemented the troops for their efforts, the Indian Army said in a statement.
The next combined training is scheduled in Nepal in Dec this year.
--IBNS (Posted on 01-10-2013)