Pune: The ‘Africa-India Field Training Exercise- 2019’ between India and African nations (AFINDEX-19) began with a grand opening ceremony on Monday at Aundh Military Station.
A total of 17 African nations are participating in the first such exercise.
Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Golden Katar Division, who was the chief guest for the opening ceremony, reviewed the parade, in presence of a large number of Defence Attaches and other officials of participating nations.
Speaking on the occasion, Maj Gen Sharma said, “The world is facing a serious challenge. Various belligerent groups are affecting societies across nations. Towards this end, it has become imperative to share best practices in the fields of humanitarian mine action and peacekeeping operations to ensure overall peace in the region.”
The parade was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav Seth, who is part of the participating Indian contingent from Maratha Light Infantry (Jangi Paltan).
The participating contingents, comprising of 10 personnel each, marched in together smartly at the Shivneri drill ground of the Aundh Military Station. The national flags of all 18 participating nations were also brought on parade by the flag bearers from these countries.
A flypast by a set of Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Cheetah Helicopter of the Indian Army carrying the flags of United Nations, India and the AFINDEX was the highlight of the opening ceremony. The chief guest and defence attaches from various nations interacted with the contingents after the completion of the parade.
Aim of exercise
The aim of the exercise is to practice the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations. The exercise will focus on the exchange of best practices between the participating nations, team building and tactical level operations in conduct of United Nations-mandated tasks to include establishment of a new mission, siting of a United Nations Headquarters for Peace Keeping operations, siting of Military Observer sites during peacekeeping missions, protection of civilians, nuances of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and aspects related to Humanitarian Mine Assistance.