The Army conducted a joint training exercise ‘Trishakti Prahar’ in North Bengal close to the strategic ‘Siliguri’ corridor, also called Chicken’s neck. The drill started on January 21 and concluded on Tuesday. The exercise enabled rehearsal and coordination amongst various agencies for “quick movement and employment of forces” across North Bengal, Army sources said.
“The aim of the exercise was to practice battle preparedness of the security forces using latest weapons and equipment in a networked, integrated environment, involving all arms and services of the Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF),” an Army source said.
The Siliguri corridor, located in West Bengal, is a stretch of land bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, measuring approximately 170X60 km; at the narrowest it is about 20-22 km.
As part of the exercise, swift mobilisation and deployment practices were carried out in various locations across North Bengal, the source stated. “Efforts of all agencies including the Civil Administration, civil defence organisations, the police and the CAPFs were coordinated to ensure efficient move and quick mobilisation.”
The exercise culminated on January 31 with an Integrated Fire Power Exercise in Teesta Field Firing Ranges, which was aimed at synergising the firepower assets of the armed forces and CAPFs, to orchestrate an integrated battle.
The exercise showcased the joint application of various ground and aerial assets to include the latest generation fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, medium and field artillery guns, infantry mortars and various new generation infantry weapons and equipment in a networked environment, sources said.
The fire power exercise was reviewed by Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. R. P. Kalita.
Terming the Siliguri corridor as “sensitive”, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande as the Eastern Army Commander had stated in November 2021 that a joint coordinating centre under the Army was set up and had proved to be effective to coordinate actions of all agencies that worked there.
Noting the geostrategic significance of the Siliguri corridor as it connected the Northeast India to the rest of the country, Gen. Pande had noted then that it also stemmed from the proximity of the Chumbi valley of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
“Efforts of all agencies including the Civil Administration, civil defence organisations, the police and the CAPFs were coordinated to ensure efficient move and quick mobilisation”SourceThe Indian Army