Indo-French Joint Army Exercise “Shakti 2019”
The focus of this edition was counter-terrorism operations in a semi-desert terrain under United Nations mandate.
Rajasthan, 29 October 2019
The joint military exercise between the Indian and the French armies, ’SHAKTI-2019’ concluded on 13 November 2019. A biennial exercise conducted alternately in India and France, the series commenced in 2011.
The bilateral training this year was conducted at the Foreign Training Node of Mahajan Field Firing Range from 31 October 2019 to 13 November, with the French Army troops arriving in India on 26 October 2019. A contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command represented the Indian Army in this exercise, while the French Army delegation was composed of troops of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of the 6th Armoured Brigade.
The focus of this edition was counter-terrorism operations in a semi-desert terrain under United Nations mandate. Its aim was to achieve interoperability, be acquainted with each other’s operational procedures and combat drills, and understanding functioning in such a situation through the exchange of best practices.
The exercise was conducted in two phases. The first phase of combat conditioning and tactical training was completed successfully by both the contingents. The training received by both the armies in the first phase was put into practice in the second phase – termed as the “validation stage” – involving the neutralization of terrorists in a village hideout. The 36-hour-long validation exercise included the establishment of observation posts, cordon and search operations and house-clearing drills, as well as evacuation of causalities using helicopters.
The closing ceremony was organised as a solemn occasion to felicitate outstanding soldiers and showcase each other’s cultural and martial heritage. Both the armies shared valuable combat experience with respect to countering terrorist operations in an international environment. It was a significant milestone in ensuring cordial relations between the two countries and another step forward in the global war on terror.
Source: Press Information Bureau