Military-to-military cooperation, inter-operability, heliborne and anti-terrorists operations are some of the highlights of the joint Indo-UK military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’ which began in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan last week. The third edition of the exercise, which is underway at Mahajan field firing ranges in Bikaner close to the Indo-Pak border, is aimed at acquainting both the armies with each others’ operating procedures to be applied while operating in counter terrorism environment. The exercise is being held against the backdrop of UN mandate of anti-terrorism operations. As many as 120 troops from each army are participating in the exercise which is focused on achieving better military- to-military cooperation and inter-operability, defence sources said.
“They will get familiarised with each others’ tactics and development in functioning. INSAS rifle and all unit level weapons used by the Indian Army like mortar and rocket launchers are being used. “Heliborne operations to diffuse hostage situation are also part of the exercise which began on December 1,” the sources said. Continuing further from weapon training and firing, units of both the armies conducted series of lecture demonstrations on combat medical assistance and unarmed combat in the exercise. Soldiers from both the sides were keen to learn new techniques in both the fields and appeared confident of handling any adverse situation during medical emergency or in case somebody is stuck up in any adverse situation without weapon, according to defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha.
The training contingents comprise one company each from 20th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles of the Indian Army and from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment of the British Army. The exercise is culminating on December 14. The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum, Karnataka, where as for the second exercise in 2015, an Indian Army contingent had visited the United Kingdom. In Rajasthan, Indo-Russian exercise ‘Indra-2013’ and ‘Indra-2015’ and Indo-French exercise ‘Shakti-2016’ were the similar bilateral exercises focused on anti-terrorism operations which were held under United Nation mandate.
Apart from these anti-terrorism exercises, the Indian desert terrain bordering with Pakistan has also witnessed some major armoured intensive offensive training exercises like ‘Shatrujeet-2016’ and ‘Drad Sankalp-2015’ in the recent years.