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India, Russia perform joint air exercises
October 14, 2005 15:02 IST
Indian Army personnel and special airborne troops from Russia took part on Friday in joint air exercises for better understanding and coordination in combating terrorism.
Personnel from the Indian Army's elite 50th independent parabrigade and Moscow's 76 Airborne division, part of that country's Rapid Deployment Force parachuted at the Malpura dropping zone, 13 km from Agra on Friday morning.
The two teams were led by Lieutenant General S Pattabhiraman, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Indian Army and Colonel General Alexander Kalmakov, Chief of the Russian airborne division.
Begining at 0830 hrs, batches of 10 to 14 paratroopers, including the two chiefs, bailed down perfectly. They were followed by 40 skydivers, 12 of them Russian, including four women. All of them fell from a height of 2,500 metres in four batches, the first of whom carried Russian and Indian flags.
Friday's exercise comes two days ahead of the joint land exercise between the two countries in Suratgarh in Rajasthan in the backdrop of the two nations grappling with an increasing rise in urban terrorism.
Speaking to reporters after the exercise, Lt Gen Pattibhiraman said the joint exercises would be continued in the second phase at Mahajan field firing ranges near Suratgarh, the aim being to familiarise each other in respect of weapons, equipment and operating procedures.