India, Russia Kick Off Joint Tri Service Exercise Indra 2019

India and Russia kicked off the second edition of bilateral tri-service Exercise INDRA with an opening ceremony at Babina training ground in Uttar Pradesh on Dec. 11, 2019.

Lieutenant General Depinder Singh Ahuja, Chief of Staff of Indian Army’s Southern Command along with Major General Tsekov Oleg, Commander in Chief of 5th Army of Russia’s Eastern Military District, reviewed the parade.

Military parades of servicemen of the two countries in honor of the start of the exercise were also held in the Port of Mormugao and at the Indian Air Force base in the city of Pune.

The exercise will be simultaneously conducted at Babina, Goa, and Pune. Company sized mechanized contingents, fighter and transport aircraft and ships of both the countries are taking part in the exercise. The aim of the exercise is joint training of troops in counter-terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate.

The Russian Federation is represented in the exercise by more than 700 servicemen. Among them, there are units of the Eastern MD combined arms army, military pilots and technicians of the Eastern MD air force and air defense, as well as crews of the Baltic Fleet warships. Russian military personnel will perform tasks on tanks, armored personnel carriers, and aircraft, which were provided by the host country for the period of the exercise.

“Exercise INDRA-2019 will further cement the long-standing strategic ties between India and Russia”, said a statement from the Indian Ministry of Defence.

As part of the exercise, important lectures, demonstrations, and drills related to counter-terrorism operations will be conducted.

“Both the countries will also share their valuable experience in countering such situations and refine drills and procedures for joint operations”, the statement added.

The exercise will culminate with a 72 hours validation phase which will test the skills of soldiers, sailors and airmen in conducting joint operations in a counter-terrorism scenario. The exercise is scheduled until Dec. 21.

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