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Rediff.com  » News » Shakti-2016: Indo, French forces take on terrorists in Bikaner

Shakti-2016: Indo, French forces take on terrorists in Bikaner

January 12, 2016 09:07 IST

In its third edition in the series of bilateral exercises under the 'Shakti' banner the Indian and French troops jointly participated in a counter-terrorism exercise last week.

Rediff.com takes a look at this stunningly executed joint operation that focused on physical fitness, tactical drills, techniques and procedure.

An Indian and a French soldier aim at a distant target as part of the joint operations. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

Indian and French troops began their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise in Rajasthan on Friday.

This year's edition is the third in a series of bilateral exercises executed under 'Shakti' banner. 

The French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, had arrived in Jodhpur to take part in 'Shakti 2016'.

An Indian soldier pictured carrying his French counterpart during an endurance test. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The French army contingent is being led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie.

The joint training is intended to focus on high degrees of physical fitness, tactical drills, techniques and procedure. A comprehensive training programme for a period of two weeks has been worked out for achieving the same.

Troops engange in an attack formation as part of the exercise. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The exercise is an important step for the armies to train together and gain from each other's rich operational experience, a statement by the Indian Army said.

Both countries have troops deployed in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and therefore sharing each other's military experiences will pay meaningful dividends, it said.

A parachuting exercise being executed by an Indian soldier. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles, part of the Sapta Shakti Command has been nominated for this exercise. 

The unit has been put through a strenuous training schedule to prepare for the exercise, which includes firing, combat conditioning, tactical operations, heli-borne operations among others.

Troops cool off by jumping through rings of fire. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The illustrious selected battalion has varied experience in counter-insurgency/counter-terrorist operations. 

The unit was bestowed with the prestigious chief of the army staff citation and general officer commanding-in-chief northern command unit citation for maintaining law and order, keeping terrorism under check and maintaining sanctity of the border in the northern theatre.

Indian and French officers hold the banner of 'Shakti 2016'. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The 35th Infantry Regiment's origin dates back to its raising in 1604 at Lorraine in France.

A French solider parachutes down during the exercise. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The regiment has as many as 12 battle honours to its credit.

The battalion has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places.

The French army contingent arrives in India for the exercise. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

The joint exercise will undergo a training schedule aimed at combating conditioning, infantry tactical operations in a counter-terrorism environment and planning of joint operations under the United Nations mandate.

Another view of the arriving French army contingent. Photograph: Directorate of public relations, ministry of defence/ Twitter

This exercise will culminate in a tactical exercise encompassing clearing of pockets of terrorists in rural and urban environment.