Friday, October 21, 2011

Indo- French exercise ends

Posted by Neelam Mathews Oct 21, 2011

Exercise Shakti,  the first ever Indo-French exercise was held at Chaubattia from October 9-21. The French Army was represented by four Officers and 50 troops of the 13 Mountain Infantry Battalion while an equal number of officers and troops participated from Second Battalion the Bihar Regiment, under the 99 Mountain Brigade of the Indian Army.
The two nations aimed not just at training troops in Counter Terrorist Operations but also in enhancing defense cooperation and military relations The exercise was conducted in the areas adjoining Ranikhet which provided an excellent opportunity for the contingents of the two countries to practice and rehearse drills and procedures related to operations in this rugged terrain.

The activities conducted during training included familiarization with weapons and equipment being used by both the countries, introduction to the organization, concept and basic tactics at infantry  company and platoon level and modalities of conducting complex operations like Area Domination Patrols, Cordon and Search
operations and Search and Destroy Operations in counter insurgency environment. Personnel from the French contingent also got a chance to fire infantry weapons being used by the Indian Army during day as well as night, says MoD.

The training culminated in a 48 hours Consolidation Exercise in which troops of both nations carried out a daring Search and Destroy Operation in the general area of Pilkholi village on the outskirts of Ranikhet. The mission included clearing and destruction of a
terrorist hideout, employment of the Quick Reaction Teams to neutralize escaping terrorists and carrying out a thorough search of the dense forest.

The highlight of the event was an audacious and surgical Raid by heliborne commandoes of both armies on a simulated target. The commandoes of the French Army also employed their Paragliding skills.
The final phase of the exercise was reviewed by Brigadier General Herve Wattecamps and Colonel Bertrand Lavaux as representatives of France and  Major General Rajesh Arya, General Officer Commanding, 6 Mountain Division and Brigadier A K Yadav, Commander, 99 Mountain Brigade representing India.

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