Harimau Shakti 2018: What’s special about India and Malaysia’s joint counter guerrilla operations?

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New Delhi | Published: May 7, 2018 1:43:43 PM

The joint exercise mainly focuses on field training in the Sungai jungles of Hulu Langat for over seven days. The Indian Contingent which is being represented by 4 Grenadiers will be coordinating with Malaysian army to plan and execute a series of counter-guerilla and counter-insurgency operations.

Harimau Shakti, Harimau Shakti 2018, India, Malaysia armies, bilateral exercise, Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018, Indian Army The troops of the Indian and Malaysian armies kickstarted ‘Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018’ in Wardieburn Camp in Setapak, a statement by the Indian Army said. (ANI)

Harimau Shakti 2018: India and Malaysia have kickstarted their first-ever joint military exercise in Malaysia. With 90 security personnel from the Indian contingent at the Wardieburn Camp in Setapak, India has showcased that it wishes to expand its defence reach with ASEAN countries. The joint exercise titled Harimau Shakti will be held between April 30th to May 13th in Malaysia. The exercise which aims at conducting training operations on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in jungle terrain will be held in two phases. The first phase involving cross-training at Wardieburn camp was completed yesterday and the second phase, which involves field training in dense forests of Sungai Perdik has just begun.

Speaking to the media, Defence PRO Col Aman Anand said that this was not just a great opportunity for the Indian Army to hone their battle skills, but was also a great initiative to contribute and enhance strategic relations with Malaysia. Apart from teaching them how to tackle guerilla attackers who go back into hiding, the Malay army will teach the Indian contingent how to survive the challenging conditions of jungle warfare. The training exercise will help the army imbibe various techniques of jungle survival. It will enable them to use the indigenously available resources to survive and also battle the difficulties in such a terrain. Laying of booby traps, animal traps, hunting, using locally available plants to cook and construction of forest huts are some of the main facets of Harimau Shakti 2018.

Watch: The Harimau Shakti 2018 opening ceremony at Wardieburn camp.

The joint exercise mainly focuses on field training in the Sungai jungles of Hulu Langat for over seven days. The Indian Contingent which is being represented by 4 Grenadiers will be coordinating with Malaysian army to plan and execute a series of counter-guerilla and counter-insurgency operations. The 90 security personnel from India will be trained in tactical jungle warfare. They will be taught how to survive during low food facility. They will also be taught how to make fire using bamboo reeds, identify edible plants for food and also hunting. The 14-day training activity will equip the Indian contingent with skills to combat in difficult terrains and will also hone their operational skills.

The title of the joint exercise takes its name from ‘Harimau’, the Malay word meaning tiger. The army in Malaysia is known for its sharp skills in combating severe guerilla attacks and counter operations in dense jungles of Malaysia. The Malays who are famous for tactics in jungle warfare had also fought famously in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960. The Malays developed their expertise in guerrilla warfare under the British, when the Malayan National Liberation Army under the Malayan Communist Party had started attacking rubber plantations, mines and local police stations in the 1950s. The Malays who were locally taught how to live in jungles were efficient in winning the war against the guerillas in 1960.

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