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Armies of India, France to take part in bilateral drill in Rajasthan

The armies of India and France will take part in a bilateral drill, with a focus on counter-terror operations, in Rajasthan from October 31 to November 13, an Indian Army spokesperson said on Monday.

The joint drill, christened ‘Exercise Shakti’, commenced in 2011.

As part of Exercise Shakti-2019, French troops arrived in India on October 26 for training with their Indian counterparts.

The bilateral training exercise will be conducted at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan.

A contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent the Indian Army in the exercise, while the French Army delegation comprises troops from the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of 6th Armoured Brigade.

The bilateral exercise will be conducted from October 31 to November 13.

“The joint exercise will focus on counter-terrorism operations in the backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations mandate. The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other,” the spokesperson said.

The drill will culminate with a 36-hour validation exercise which will involve neutralisation of terrorists in a village hideout, the official added.

The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and inter-operability between the two armies.