Colombo: India and Sri Lanka on Monday began a 12-day mega military exercise with a focus on enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation at the Combat Training School in Ampara, the island country’s eastern district.
The Sri Lanka Army said that the eighth edition of the ‘Mitra Shakti’ exercise from October 4 to 15 began with the participation of an all-weapons contingent of 120 Indian Army personnel under the chairmanship of Colonel Prakash Kumar.
The joint military exercise is designed to enhance understanding of international counter-terrorism, interoperability skills, conduct of joint strategic operations, sharing of each other’s best practices and experiences.
Participating Indian soldiers – for exercises at the Combat Training School in Ampara, involving tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international counter-terrorism and counter-terrorism environment – arrived in an Indian Air Force aircraft on Saturday. Army said.
The annual training programme, which has contributed significantly to strengthening the bonds of bilateral military cooperation, understanding and neighborly ties between the two services, takes place alternately in India or Sri Lanka every year.
On the exercise, India’s Defense Ministry said last week that the aim of the exercise is to promote closer ties between the armies of the two countries and enhance interoperability and sharing of best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations.
An all-arms contingent of 120 Indian Army personnel will participate in the exercise along with the Sri Lanka Army’s battalion-shakti contingent, adding that the exercise will go a long way in further cementing the ties between the two south. Will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation between the Asian nation and the two armies at the grassroots level.
Sri Lanka was rocked in April 2019 by a series of deadly bombings that killed over 300 people.
In the backdrop of the blasts, India and Sri Lanka increased their counter-terrorism cooperation.
The seventh edition of the Mitra Shakti exercise was conducted at the Foreign Training Node (FTN) in Pune in 2019.