Armies of India and France will carry out counter-terrorism drills under the joint exercise code-named ‘Ex Shakti -2019’ beginning October 31 at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan. The exercise which will be conducted at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan from October 31 to November 13 will focus on counter-terrorism operations in the backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate.
Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent the Indian Army ::
The Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent the Indian Army in this exercise while troops of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of 6th Armoured Brigade will be present on behalf of the Army of France. The training will focus primarily on the high degree of physical fitness, sharing of the drill at a tactical level and learning of the best practices from each other. It is being conducted with the aim of enhancing understanding, cooperation, and interoperability between the two Armies. The exercise, which is a part of biennial exercise conducted alternately in India and France, will come to an end with a 36-hour long validation exercise.
‘Fruitful deliberations’ ::
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday, October 9, that he had “fruitful deliberations” with his French counterpart during which they reviewed the full spectrum of the bilateral defence engagement and reaffirmed their strong commitment to further deepen cooperation to combat terrorism. Singh and French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly held the second ministerial-level Annual Defence Dialogue between the two countries in Paris on Tuesday night after France formally handed over the first Rafale fighter jet to India.
Soon after the meeting, Singh tweeted that he “had fruitful deliberations” with Parly. “We assessed and reviewed the full spectrum of our bilateral defence engagement,” he said. The two ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of the India-France strategic partnership, the defence ministry said in a statement. “Both leaders also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism,” it said.