Joint military exercise ends in Russia

Indian troops during Exercise Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at the firing ranges in Chebarkul in Russia. Photo: Twitter/@adgpi  

Exercise Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), ended in Russia on Wednesday with the eight-member states undertaking joint training on combating terrorism.

This is the first time India and Pakistan participated in the exercise, which began on August 24 at the firing ranges in Chebarkul.

“After intense military training, the joint exercise concluded with multinational forces exhibiting their combat power and dominance over the extremist groups in simulated realistic situation. The closing ceremony showcased the immense talent and unique military ethos of all the member nations,” the Army said in a statement.

The exercise provided an opportunity to armies of all nations for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust and cooperation, the statement added.

In the culmination phase of the exercise — in which a town captured by a terrorist group had to be taken back — there was a live firing demo involving all eight participating nations, one officer said.

After a recce of the place through unmanned aerial vehicles, the target was softened by air power. Following this, armoured and mechanised vehicles with infantry in tow attacked the town and captured it by house intervention and pursuit.

India, China, Kazakhstan and Russia showcased their armoured and mechanised forces while Pakistan has sent only Special Forces personnel. The Indian delegation was led by Lt. Gen Satish Dua, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.

India and Pakistan became full members of the grouping last year. SCO was founded in 1996. The exercise provided an opportunity for the armies of India and Pakistan to operate together outside the United Nations umbrella, under which they had operated in the past.

India-Pak. camaraderie

Far from the firing and shelling across the Line of Control (LoC), Indian and Pakistani soldiers were seen dancing and sharing light moments together. Pakistani soldiers also received traditional Indian welcome and hospitality.

There were also several sports activities and the Indian contingent performed exceedingly well in a friendly inter-contingent volleyball match, beating the Pakistani contingent in a thrilling final. “The team of 5 Rajput Regiment emerged winners among the eight participating nations,” one official said.

China has welcomed the participation of the two south Asian countries in the exercise and said stability between the two countries was “significant to the peace and development of the region and the whole world.”

On the sidelines of the exercise, a meeting of the Chiefs of General Staff (CGS) of participating nations was held on Tuesday and the senior officers also witnessed the final phase and the closing ceremony.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 11:59:25 PM |

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