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Joint Indo-British war games at 20,000 ft
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | September 18, 2007 02:48 IST
British and Indian soldiers will jointly carry out high altitude warfare training exercises in Ladakh's cold Himalayan desert.
"A company of British Marines is scheduled to be jointly trained in high altitude warfare in the Ladakh Himalayas along with one company of Indian Army paratroopers. The exchange has been planned to focus on training in super high altitude areas," a defence spokesman said on Monday evening.
"Initially the two companies will be put through the paces of the acclimatisation process for the troops to get used to the rarified atmosphere at these altitudes. A four-week rigorous training program will follow."
"The British Marines are likely to be deployed shortly in such extreme altitudes. The training will be conducted around Leh over five weeks," the spokesman said.
"The primary objective is to understand each other's strengths while operating in rugged terrain above 20,000 feet interspersed with hazardous glaciers."
"Understanding the capabilities of weapons and equipment held by the two armies forms an essential part of this interaction. Firing with each other's weapons will also be a major highlight of the training. The training will also expose the British troops to the extremely low temperatures.
"The joint training will be conducted by instructors trained in the High Altitude Warfare School, Sonamarg, in specialised aspects such as rock-craft, snow and glacier operations.
The Indian paratroop company will share its experiences of operating in some of the world's most difficult areas including the highest battlefield, while the British are likely to respond by highlighting their recent battle experiences. Both the companies are expected to benefit from the expertise acquired by the other in the conduct of operations in such a terrain," the spokesman said.