Armies of seven member countries of Bay of Bengal region have concluded their first ever joint military exercise in Pune in Western India on Sunday.
However, Nepal which hosted the fourth edition of BIMSTEC summit meeting in Kathmandu in August end did not send its contingent in the inaugural exercise.
The inaugural edition of the BIMSTEC nations military field training exercise known as MILEX-2018 has concluded on 16 September 2018 with a validation exercise held at foreign training node, Aundh military station in Pune district of state of Maharashtra in Western India.
India’s junior defence minster Subash Bhambre, general secretary of BIMSTEC forum Shahidul Islam, service chiefs of BIMSTEC nations, senior military officers of the Indian Army and representatives of the BIMSTEC countries were present at the military base to witness the last leg of the exercise.
Indian Army said: “The tactical drills included hostage rescue by insertion of troops from helicopters, room intervention house clearing drills as part of cordon and search operations, raid on a terrorist hideout and neutralization of IEDs.”
The entire exercise was monitored and controlled through a joint command post manned by officials from participating countries.
“The main aim of exercise was to develop understanding between the participating armies for conducting joint anti-terror operations,” said Indian Army.
India’s minister of state for defence Subhash Bhambhre said that the exercise has provided an opportunity to discuss the issue of countering terrorism from the military point of view.
“The exercise will assist in enhancing interoperability between the armies which may be called upon to collectively fight this growing menace of terrorism in the Bay of Bengal region.”
The validation exercise followed an equipment display organised with the support of Indian chamber of business FICCI and showcased more than two hundred and fifty indigenously developed defence equipment.