Shillong (Meghalaya) , Feb 4 : The 14-day joint military training exercise ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ between the Indian army and Bangladesh army began on Monday at the Umroi military station in the outskirts of Shillong.
Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh, and it is the ninth edition hosted alternately by both the countries.
Brigadier Rajesh Sharma who is the contingent commander of the Indian army in this joint exercise welcomed the Bangladeshi contingent today and informed that the main focus of the joint exercise is on counter terrorist operations in mountainous and jungle terrains under the United Nations mandate.
Stating India and Bangladesh are the two nations which progressed on a path of mutual co-existence and peace as neighbours and fellow developing nations, Sharma said that both the nations also engaged in the process of socio-economic transformation of the people at an unprecedented pace and on a large scale.
“The exercise will go a long way in honing the skills of both the contingents based on sharing of specialized knowledge and tactical expertise in a period of time while operating in various scenarios. This will also ensure that towards the culmination of the joint exercise, both the contingents would have achieved the highest standards of interoperability and associated skills to counter any challenge in the ever changing threat scenarios specially being the largest troop contributors to the United Nations peace keeping mission,” Sharma said.
He also expressed his hope that the joint exercise would yield excellence results and strengthen the bond between the two nations.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh contingent commander Md Shafiul Azam of the 42nd Bangladesh infantry regiment recalled the martyrs of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and praised India for supporting Bangladesh especially during that time.
Terming Bangladesh and Indian armies as two neighbouring ‘friendly armies’ Azam said, “The Bangladesh army has always benefited from the support given by the Indian army and a good number of participants from Bangladesh come every year to India to undertake training in Indian military establishments. This has really contributed towards developing the standard of officers and men. The Bangladesh army also received a good number of persons from the Indian army for training. Both the armies have multifarious engagements in different fields.”
Stating that the aim of the joint exercise is to build and promote positive relations between the India and Bangladesh armies, Azam expressed his hope that through this exercise, the relation will improve and officers and men will be more knowledgeable after the exercise.
Each side is comprised of 128 jawans, 12 officers and 10 junior commission officers.
On the inaugural day of the joint exercise, both Azam and Sharma reviewed the parade of both the contingents, and military bands.
The training will culminate on February 16 with a final validation exercise in which troops of both armies will jointly practice a counter terrorist operation in a controlled and simulated environment.
By special arrangement with Highland Post