Army exercise “Shakti” in France [fr]
French and Indian Armies begin mountain warfare exercise “Shakti”
in France, 9 September 2013
In response to a question raised by one journalist, the French Embassy in India confirms that the 13th Alpine Battalion of the French Army is currently hosting sixty soldiers from the 5th Battalion of the prestigious and much decorated Kumaon Regiment for the combined mountain warfare exercise “Shakti”, which is taking place from 9 to 20 September in Bourg Saint-Maurice, in the French Alps.
This is the second edition of exercise “Shakti”. A detachment of the 13th Alpine Battalion had taken part in the first edition in India, from 9 to 22 October 2011, at Chaubattia, Ranikhet, in the Himalayan foothills.
Through “Shakti”, the French and Indian armies share their experience on mountain warfare. This exercise will also help foster common understanding and improve interoperability between the French and Indian armed forces, whose units frequently operate in the same United Nations peacekeeping operations, be it in South Lebanon or in Africa.
These exercises are integral part of the Strategic partnership in defence between France and India. During the State Visit of President Hollande to India in February 2013, French and Indian authorities welcomed the ongoing exercises between their armies (Shakti), navies (Varuna) and air forces (Garuda) and confirmed their willingness to further bilateral defence cooperation by continuing to conduct such interactions. Further enhancement of joint exercises was also highlighted during the visit of the French Minister of Defence, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian from 25 to 27 July 2013, on the basis of preparatory work held during the visit to France from 27 to 31 May 2013 of General Bikram Singh, Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, who was hosted by General Ract-Madoux, Chief of Staff of the French Army.