The multinational Military Exercise Force Eighteen conducted by Indian Army has started in at Pune, Maharashtra.
In this seven-day military exercise (till March 8, 2016) over 300 participants from 18 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus countries are participating.
- ASEAN countries along with ASEAN Plus nations viz. India, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Russia and US .
- 10 ASEAN countries from South East Asia are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Exercise Force Eighteen is the largest multinational ground forces exercise to be conducted on Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO).
- It is conducted by India as part of its ambitious Look (Act) East policy and it is one of the largest multi-national military exercises conducted in the country.
- The exercise will allow the armies of these countries to develop a common understanding in handling any complex situation.
- The exercise is part of a concerted attempt by India towards constructive joint efforts of ASEAN Plus militaries to enhance the peace and security of the region.
- Note: Indian Army contingent of 40 soldiers is being led by Lt .Colonel Sofia Qureshi. She is the first women officer to lead Indian contingent in such exercise.
Exercise Force Eighteen
- The multinational military exercise is an outcome of 2015 ADMM Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting).
- During this meeting all participating countries had planned to conduct two separate exercises for Humanitarian Mine Action and UN Peace Keeping Operations in 2016.