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Indo-Mongolian military exercise gets under way

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SHILLONG, July 3: The 16th edition of the Indo-Mongolian joint military training exercise on Wednesday commenced at Umroi in a bid to provide a platform for the military personnel from both countries to interact, learn best practices and establish personal contacts.
Titled ‘Nomadic Elephant’, the joint military exercise, which will conclude on July 16, aims to enhance the capabilities of the forces from both countries, particularly in peacekeeping operations under the UN umbrella.
The joint military exercise was inaugurated by the Ambassador of Mongolia to India, Ganbold Dambajav, who, in his address, highlighted the historical importance and continuous development of military cooperation between India and Mongolia. “Such a big partnership is developing from year to year, and we are looking forward to continuing this good tradition,” he remarked.
Informing that the exercise is in line with India’s Act East policy and other foreign policy objectives, Dambajav stressed the exercise’s role in fostering bilateral cooperation between India and Mongolia not only in terms of military defence but also political, economic, educational, health, and scientific fields.
Reflecting on the broader historical context, Dambajav acknowledged Mongolia’s past under a communist regime, which, he maintained, hindered its relations with India.
“Historically, we had a very good connection with India, but because of the communist regime that Mongolia was part of, we were behind. Because of that, we lost some of our links,” he said.
He then exuded optimism about the future of the two countries, emphasising the need to educate the next generation about their shared cultural and spiritual heritage.
First initiated in 2006, the joint exercise has grown significantly over the years.
During the joint exercise, the Indian contingent, comprising 45 personnel from the Sikkim Scouts along with members from other arms and services, will train alongside the Mongolian contingent, represented by personnel from the 150 Quick Reaction Force Battalion of the Mongolian Army.
This annual training event alternates between India and Mongolia, with the last edition being held in Mongolia in July 2023.
Key tactical drills during the exercise include responses to terrorist actions, the establishment of a joint command post, intelligence and surveillance centers, securing helipads, small team insertion and extraction, special heliborne operations, cordon and search operations, and the employment of drones and counter-drone systems.
The inaugural programme was also attended by the General Officer Commanding 51 Sub Area of the Indian Army, Major General Prasanna Joshi.

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