Indian and Nepalese Armies crossed another historic milestone when a battalion from each of the countries took part in a combined training programme conducted to ensure inter operability of both Armies in the disaster prone region of Uttarakhand. The Indian Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh and the Nepalese Army Chief, Gen Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana witnessed the combined training exercise presently underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand Lt Gen Rajan Bakhshi, Army Commander Central Command was present on the occasion.
Based on an agreement during the 7th Security, the two countries commenced combined training at platoon level (30 men each) in 2011. The first two combined exercises focused primarily on jungle warfare and counter insurgency operations. Troops shared their experiences and exhibited skill sets during combined training at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Wirangte in Mizoram and a similar school at Amlekhganj in Nepal.
The level of combined training was upgraded to company level (consisting of approximately 120 men) in 2012, based on experience gained in two exercises in 2011. The focus of company level combined training in 2012 also on counter insurgency and jungle warfare operations in hilly terrain as the Himalayan region all along Indo-Nepal border is covered with thick jungles amidst rugged Himalayas.“SURYA KIRAN V” is the first of the battalion level combined training between India and Nepal in 2013. Approximately 400 soldiers from each Army are participating in the combined exercises underway in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand. The Indian Army and Nepalese Army’s focus of training this year has been ‘Disaster Response’ in a geologically disaster prone zones in the Himalayas. Witnessing the well rehearsal drills in rescue, relief and disaster response techniques exhibited by both the Armies, the Army Chiefs expressed satisfaction at the level of preparation and coordination displayed by troops. Both the contingents shared their experiences in handling such situations in future. The exercise also helped in promoting understanding, inter operability and jointness in conduct of operations at battalion level. Both the Chiefs were thoroughly impressed by the high standards of training and synergy displayed by the participating contingents and complemented the troops for their efforts.
The Nepalese Army Chief lauded the Indian Army’s selfless service to the people by providing timely succor during rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand in June this year. The next combined training is scheduled in Nepal in December this year.