Indo-French Military Exercise Shakti-2016 Begins

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Jaipur: Indo-French joint military training ‘Exercise Shakti-2016’ commenced at the Mahajan field firing range in Bikaner on Friday with the opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of national anthems, “Jana Gana Mana” and “La Marseillaise”.

On Wednesday, the French contingent of a platoon group of 35th Infantry Regiment comprising 56 personnel landed at Suratgarh from France. The 8-day-long exercise is focused on joint training on counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment under United Nations Mandate.

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Defence spokesperson Manish Ojha said, “the opening ceremony was held at Mahajan field firing range. Brigadier SS Mohite, officer commanding, Indian Brigade welcomed the French contingent. He urged both contingents to achieve optimum cohesion and inter-operability to achieve the military objectives of the exercise. He stressed upon the importance of free exchange of ideas, concepts and best practices between the troops and the necessity to learn from each others’ experiences”. The welcome speech was followed by cultural programmes.

He said the joint exercise will facilitate both armies to know each other better, share their experiences and enhance their situational awareness through information exchange. This will help them in undertaking joint operations at platoon level for neutralization of terrorist threat under the ambit of United Nations Mandate.

“The programme got off to a spectacular start with the parade of the two contingents which was followed by a perfect acrobatic performance. A melodious band display thereafter was followed by para drop. The event ended with the release of colourful balloons,” Ojha added.

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