List of Major Military Exercises Conducted By Indian Army You Should Know

DefenceXP Author / 21 October 2019

Hello Defence Lovers, In the domain of international relations, military diplomacy has, in recent years, emerged as a major tool to further diplomatic interests of nations. Participation in international level military exercises is an indication of the highest level of trust and confidence between the member nations. It is a key confidence building measure (CBM) and an indication of the faith reposed by India on another nation or a group of member nations. In this article we will talk about some major military exercise conducted by Indian Army.

Operation Brasstacks

  • Operation Brasstacks was launched by the Indian Army in November 1986 to simulate a full-scale war on its western border. The exercise was the largest ever conducted in India and comprised nine infantry, three mechanised, three armoured and one air assault division, and included three independent armoured brigades. Amphibious assault exercises were also conducted with the Indian Navy. Brasstacks also allegedly incorporated nuclear attack drills. It led to tensions with Pakistan and a subsequent rapprochement in mid-1987.

Exercise Ashwamedha

  • Indian Army tested its network centric warfare capabilities in the exercise Ashwamedha. The exercise was held in the Thar desert, in which over 300,000 troops participated. Asymmetric warfare capability was also tested by the Indian Army during the exercise.

Yudh Abhyas

  • Exercise Yudh Abhyas is part of an ongoing series of joint exercises between the Indian and United States Armies since 2005, agreed upon under the New Framework of the India-US Defence Relationship. Commencing at the platoon level, the exercise has graduated to a command post (CPX) and field training exercise (FTX).
  • The seventh edition of Yudh Abhyas is currently underway since 5 March 2012 in two locations under the South Western Command. The US Army contingent is from the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), part of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM).
  • The Command Post Exercise has an engineer brigade headquarters with its planners from both sides, while the Field Training Exercise comprises troops of the 2nd Squadron 14th US Cavalry Regiment from the 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii, along with a platoon of Strykers, and a similar sized Indian Army contingent of mechanised infantry.
  • The event is all the more interesting as a number of key surveillance, communications and Improvised Explosive Devices detection and neutralisation technologies, available to both sides have been fielded in the exercise.
  • An Indian-born US Army linguist and translator assigned to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, explains weapons-range safety procedures to Indian Army soldiers with the 99th Mountain Brigade before they fire American machine guns 4 May 2013, at Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • They are part of Yudh Abhyas 2013, the latest annual training event between the armies of India and the United States, sponsored by US Army Pacific.
  • The eighth edition of Yudh Abhyas was conducted with The Indian army's 99th Mountain Brigade and the 1st Bde. Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. Other units represented were the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, from the US forces, and from India, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Gurka Rifles; the 50th Independent Para Bde.; and the 54th Engineers Regt. The U.S. Army-Pacific sponsored a bilateral training exercise with the Indian army, 3–17 May 2013, that focused on the two countries' cultures, weapons training and tactics.

Exercise Shakti

  • Exercise Shakti is an ongoing series of joint exercises between the Indian and French armies since 2011. Exercise Shakti is conducted to practice and validate anti-terrorist operations and drills in snowbound and mountainous areas.
  • The second joint military exercise between the two countries was held in September 2013 with the first one being held in India in October 2011. The theme of the exercise is to conduct platoon level joint counter insurgency operations in high altitude mountainous terrain under the UN Charter, thus emphasising the shared concerns of both countries about global terrorism.
  • An added aim of the exercise is to qualitatively enhance knowledge of each other's military procedures thus increasing the scope for interoperability and better responsiveness to a common threat.
  • The twelve-day exercise with the French Army is scheduled to be conducted in multiple modules in order to achieve complete integration between the two contingents at every stage

Exercise Shoorveer

  • On first week of April 2012 the Indian Army launched a massive summer exercise in the Rajasthan desert involving over 50,000 troops and several hundred artillery guns and infantry combat vehicles as part of its efforts to shore up its battle worthiness on the western front with Pakistan.
  • The exercise, code-named "Shoorveer", was being conducted by the Jaipur-based South Western Command and ended in the first week of May.
  • This was the largest ever exercise conducted by Indian army since 1947. The collective training started with honing of basic battle procedures and tactical drills at a tactical level.
  • A number of field firings were carried out to check the accuracy and lethality of the weapon systems. Many innovations and modifications carried out by units and formations to enhance combat power were tested in the field.
  • The troops built on the training momentum gradually, with increased combat tempo to set the stage for a major joint army-air force exercise in the later part of the exercise

Exercise Rudra Akrosh

  • In May 2012 the Indian army started testing the preparedness level of its units and to validate new age technology, battle concepts, organizational structures and networked operations.
  • The Western Army Command conducted its summer training exercises in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Code named Exercise Rudra Akrosh, the war games were aimed at validating the operational and transformational effectiveness of various formations under the Western Army Command.
  • The exercise which entered its culmination phase was also witnessed by Western Army Commander Lt General S R Ghosh. It included various summer training manoeuvres where approximately 20,000 troops tested battle skills with state-of-the-art weapons systems in complete integration with the fighter and transport aircraft provided by the Indian Air Force.
  • Besides interacting with the soldiers and officers co-ordinating the war games, Lt Gen Ghosh witnessed various battle manoeuvres by infantry troops, mechanised infantry, tanks, artillery, Heli-borne troops and surveillance equipment.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and attack helicopters were also co-opted in the operational scenario. Recently, the Jaipur-based South Western Command—also known as Sapta Shakti command—conducted its summer war games with more than 50,000 troops, latest weaponry and air assets.

Exercise Nomadic Elephant

  • The Indian Army has been conducting training exercises with the Mongolian Army. The first exercise took place in 2004, and these exercises have since been taking place every year.
  • In 2012, the exercise took place in Belgaum, and in June 2013, they were held in Mongolia. The aim of the exercises is to enhance counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations, and conduct peacekeeping operations under the mandate of the United Nation

Exercise Shatrujeet

  • In April 2016, the Indian Army conducted a major exercise called "Shatrujeet" with the elite Mathura-based Strike Corps in the desert area of the Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan.
  • The capability to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle environment was evaluated. The focus of the exercise was to achieve co-ordination among all the forces in a nuclear, biological, chemical warfare scenario so as to deliver a quick, lethal strike against the enemy.
  • The operationally-oriented exercise was focused on validating integrated theatre battle fighting concepts by incorporating new age technologies, weapons platforms and systems, as well as long-range precision targeting vectors. This exercise is in the last phase and on 22 April, Army Chief D S Suhag is expected to review the exercise
Jai Hind
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