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India-Maldives joint military exercise ends, ‘practical lessons’ in fighting terror the takeaway


Written by Sushant Kulkarni
| Belgaum |
Published: December 29, 2017 12:54 am


india, maldives, joint military exercide, mndf, indian army, maldivian army, fighting terror, indian express At the closing ceremony of the joint military exercise in Belgaum. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

On the last day of the eighth edition of Ekuverin, the 14-day joint military exercise between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF), Brigadier General Ali Zuhair of MNDF said the practical experiences gained from the exercise will “help fight the menace of terror”.

The exercise focussed on acquainting the two armies with each other’s operating procedures, in the backdrop of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist (CI and CT) operations, in urban and semi-urban environments, with an overall aim of enhancing interoperability between the two armies.

Along with the routine joint sessions — on battle strategies, handling explosive devices, firing practice, among others — Ekuverin also saw dedicated sessions on ‘Small Team Concept’.

Brigadier General Zuhair, senior military observer of MNDF, told the media on Thursday, “There is always a lot to learn from the professional experiences of each other. The contingent of Gorkha Rifles has faced real-life situations… learning from their practical experiences would help us fight terror, which is a common enemy.”

The exercise was conducted at a time when diplomatic ties between India and Maldives are under strain over a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by the archipelago nation and China.

A closing ceremony to mark the culmination of the 14-day exercise was held at the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre at Belgaum on Thursday. The marching contingent of both countries participated in the ceremony, whose highlight was a fly past conducted by the Army Aviation team, carrying flags of India and Maldives.

In addition to the formal march past, a number of cultural programmes, like Kalaripayattu by the Madras Regimental Centre, Malkhamb by the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Khukri Combat Display by the Gorkhas and a showcase of warrior skills by the Assam Regimental Centre, was organised.

Brigadier Alok Khurana, the senior-most military observer of the Indian Army, said that the exercise has sharpened individual and collective professional skills of all participants by imbibing the best practices of both the armies, and has served to reinforce the close ties between the two countries.

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