The fourth edition of India-Japan bilateral Army exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’ began at Camp Imazu in Shiga province, Japan on Friday and will go on till March 2. Separately, two Japanese Navy ships Uraga and Awaji made port call at Kochi from February 14 to 16.
Last month, the two Air Forces held the maiden air exercise ‘Veer Guardian’. Military-to-military cooperation and integration between the two has significantly gone up in recent years.
“Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, ‘Exercise Dharma Guardian’ which is an annual training event with Japan, is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both nations in the backdrop of current global situation,” the Army said in a statement. “The scope of this exercise covers platoon-level joint training on operations in jungle and semi-urban/urban terrain.”
Indian Army troops from 2 Garhwal Rifles and an Infantry Regiment from the Middle Army of the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) are participating in the exercise. The Indian contingent arrived at the exercise location on February 12.
The joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting tactical operations under a UN mandate, in addition to developing inter-operability, bonhomie, camaraderie and friendship between the two armies, the Army said. “The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness and sharing of drills at the tactical level.”
During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of missions involving joint planning, joint tactical drills, and basics of establishing integrated surveillance grids, including employment of aerial assets.
During the port call by the two JMSDF ships Uraga and Awaji at Kochi, the ship’s crew visited professional training schools and ships of Southern Naval Command. “During the visit, they were familarised with various training facilities and activities undertaken at the Training Command of the Indian Navy. Visit and professional interaction onboard Japanese ships were conducted to enhance interoperability and share best practices between the Navies,” the Navy said. The ships are now on the way to Bahrain.