Indian and French Forces Strengthen Ties in Joint 'Exercise Shakti' Training
Indian and French Forces Strengthen Ties in Joint 'Exercise Shakti' Training

The Indian and French armies are currently participating in the 7th edition of 'Exercise Shakti,' where they are sharing drills and expertise in jungle survival techniques. This edition, focused on survival in mountainous regions, began on May 13 at the Joint Training Node in Umroi, Meghalaya.

The joint military exercise aims to boost the ability of both armies to conduct Multi-Domain Operations in challenging scenarios. According to an official release from the Public Relations Officer (PRO) Defence in Guwahati, the exercise runs from May 13 to May 26. The opening ceremony featured Thierry Mathou, the French Ambassador to India, and Major General Prasanna Sudhakar Joshi, General Officer Commanding 51 Sub Area. Exercise Shakti is a biennial event held alternately in India and France, with the last session taking place in France in November 2021.

The Indian team consists of 90 personnel, mainly from the RAJPUT Regiment, along with members from other units. Observers from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force are also participating. The French team, also comprising 90 personnel, includes members from the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade (13th DBLE).

The main goal of Exercise Shakti is to improve the joint military capabilities of both nations for conducting multi-domain operations under the United Nations Mandate, Chapter VII. The exercise focuses on operations in semi-urban and mountainous terrains. The objectives include achieving high physical fitness, rehearsing and refining tactical drills, and sharing best practices.

Key tactical drills during the exercise include responding to terrorist actions, establishing a Joint Command Post, setting up an Intelligence and Surveillance Centre, securing a helipad or landing site, Small Team Insertion & Extraction, Special Heliborne Operations, Cordon & Search Operations, and using drones and counter-drone systems.

Exercise Shakti provides a platform for both armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques, and procedures for joint operations. It enhances inter-operability, camaraderie, and cooperation between the armed forces of India and France, further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

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