India-France military exercise Shakti-2016 begins

India and France have started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency bilateral military exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan.

In this bilateral exercise, French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade are participating. Indian side is being represented by the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles which is part of the Sapta Shakti Command.

Key facts

  • Shakti-2016 joint exercise aims at conducting infantry tactical operations, combating conditioning in a counter-terrorism environment under the United Nations mandate.
  • It will culminate the tactical exercise encompassing clearing of pockets of terrorists in rural and urban environment.
  • The exercise will include firing, tactical operations, combat conditioning, heli-borne operations among others.
  • This military exercise is an important step for both the armies to train together and gain from each other’s rich operational experience.
  • It will also facilitate sharing of each other’s military experiences as both countries have deployed troops in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations.

35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade of French army has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places. It origin dates back to its raising in 1604 at Lorraine (France) and has as many as 12 battle honours to its credit.

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