Pune: The fifth India-Sri Lanka Training Exercise, Mitra Shakti 2017, started with a grand opening ceremony at Aundh Military Station here on Friday.
The exercise, which is based on counter terrorist operations, will see participation of infantry companies of both these countries.
MAHAR 1, the participating infantry regiment of India, will carry out the exercise with Sri Lanka’s Sinha regiment. The exercise will be conducted for the next 14 days, till October 26, and will involve sharing and learning each other’s experiences.
The opening ceremony, which started with a fly past of helicopters and a parade, was followed by skill displays by troops from both countries. The ceremony continued with the Khukhri dance by the Gorkha regiment of Indian Army, after which a performance of Kandy dances, also known as Udarata Narthanaya, was conducted by the Sri Lankan Army.
The ceremony was presided over by Senior Indian Observer Brigadier Alok Chandra, VSM. Mitra Shakti 2017 will send a strong signal to the world that India and Sri Lanka understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace. Chandra said, “I am confident that at the end of this joint training, the two contingents will have not only achieved our military objective of inter-operability, but would also have enhanced the diplomatic and cultural bonds between the two nations.”
Brigadier AP Pallawela, Lankan Army observer, said, “It is a great honour to express myself on behalf of the Sri Lankan Army. The aim of this exercise is to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist training to build and promote positive military relationships. This effort is timely as terrorism and insurgency are global issues.”