Pune: The inaugural military field training exercise for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technological and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations named ‘MILEX-18’ started with a grand opening ceremony on Monday at the Aundh military station.
Contingents of five out of seven member nations came together for the opening ceremony. Except for Nepal and Thailand, the armies of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are participating in the exercise. Observers from Thailand and Nepal are attending the mega-regional military exercise. Nepal had withdrawn from the exercise on Friday.
Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding, Golden Katar Division, was the chief guest for the opening ceremony. He reviewed the parade that was commanded by Captain Gaurav Sharma, who is part of the participating Indian contingent, in the presence of officers and officials of participating nations.
During the parade, there was also a flypast of Army Aviation helicopters that carried the national flags of the member nations. The General Officer Commanding interacted with the contingents after the completion of the parade. The members of all participating nations also interacted and familiarised with each other after the opening ceremony.
The aim of the forthcoming exercise is to give the BIMSTEC nations practice in planning and conduct of counter-terrorist operations. The exercise schedule is focused upon learning of best practices, team building and special tactical level operations in a counter-terrorist environment in a semi-urban setting.