Ex-Surya Kiran takes off; Armies of India and Nepal focus on counter-terrorism and interoperability

By: |
September 30, 2021 2:18 PM

On Thursday (Sept 30,2021) there was a grand opening ceremony, where Lt Gen SS Mahal, GOC UB Area, (Uttar Bharat Area) addressed the contingents of both countries.

indo nepal military drillThis drill is held bi-annually and is conducted alternatively in India and Nepal and an Infantry Battalion from the armies of both countries train together. (Image credit: Indian Army)

Earlier this week to boost overall interoperability between the militaries of India and Nepal, the two sides started Ex- ‘SURYA KIRAN’ in Pithoragarh which will end on October 3, 2021.The main aim of the 15th India-Nepal military training exercise is on disaster relief operations as well as counter-terror drills.

On Thursday (Sept 30,2021) there was a grand opening ceremony, where Lt Gen SS Mahal, GOC UB Area, (Uttar Bharat Area) addressed the contingents of both countries.

More about Ex Surya Kiran

This drill is held bi-annually and is conducted alternatively in India and Nepal and an Infantry Battalion from the armies of both countries train together. The purpose of the training to develop interoperability, disaster relief operations and most importantly counter terrorism operations.

Around 650 Officers and soldiers from the Nepalese army had reached last Saturday for joint training. Even the Indian Army sent in the same number of officers and soldiers to participate in the drill which will also focus on Humanitarian aid and medical and aviation support during Disaster Relief operations.

The 6th Garhwal Regiment is representing the Indian army and the Ripu Daman battalion of Nepali Army has been deployed to represent Nepalese side.

Why is the drill important?

Such drills at joint battalion level with the neighbouring countries help in enhancing defence and military cooperation.

In an official statement issued by the Indian Army, “The two armies have recently developed understandings which are an encouraging sign. And this will help the two armies for deeper cooperation,” said Lt Gen Mahal.

Indo-Nepal Defence Cooperation

Goodwill visits between the two armies started way back in 1950, when the then Army Chief General KM Carriappa (later Field Marshal) visited the neighbouring country.

In 1965, the tradition of conferring the title of an ‘honorary general’ to each other’s army chief was started.

The connection between the armies of both countries is the cornerstone of the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.

According to officers, back in 1995, India had in principle agreed to help Nepal Army in its Modernisation and Reorganisation process. And between 2004-2007 defence stores were supplied on gratis basis to the Nepalese Army.

In 2011, on the basis of an agreement inked during the 7th India-Nepal Consultative Group on Security, the first ever drill at platoon level was conducted with 30 men from each side. The focus was on counter-insurgency operations and jungle warfare.

This was then upgraded to company level in 2012, followed by battalion level drills in Uttrakhand region.

The first Joint Military Ex surya Kiran was conducted at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand in 2013 and there were atleast 400 soldiers from each side.

In 2016, the 9th Indo-Nepali Combined Battalion Level Military Training Exercise Surya Kiran was conducted at Pithoragarh.

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