India, Nepal begin joint military training exercise in Pithoragarh

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, September 23, 2013

India and Nepal began a 15-day joint military training exercise, Surya Kiran-V, at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand today with the aim of training troops in counter-terrorism operations and in enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries.
An official press release said an infantry battalion from the Indian Army and an equivaent strength from the Nepalese Army would share their experiences gained during the conduct of counter-insurgency operations.
Based on an agreement during the 7th Nepal-India Billeted Consultative Group on Security, the two countries commenced joint training at platoon level (30 men each) in 2011.
The first two joint exercises focused primarily on jungle warfare and counter insurgency operations. Troops shared their experiences and exhibited skill sets during joint training at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairangate in Mizoram and a similar school at Amlekhganj in Nepal.
The level of joint training was upgraded to company level (consisting of approximately 120 men) in 2012 based on experience gained in the previous two exercises in 2011. Company level joint training also focused on counter insurgency and jungle warfare operations in hilly terrain as the Himalayan region all along Indo-Nepal border is covered with thick jungles.
According to the release, the exercise provides an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on counter terrorist operations; especially in mountainous terrain, as also on aspects of disaster management. The training also envisages a full fledged exercise on organisation and conduct of disaster response and management operations.
"This joint training, mutual interaction and sharing of experiences amongst both the countries shall further strengthen cultural and historical ties between both the nations and take bilateral relations forward," the release added.

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