India, Thailand begin joint military exercise in Meghalaya
Umroi (Meghalaya), Sep. 16 (IANS): The Indian Army and Royal Thai Army began their latest joint exercise here on Monday, an Army official said.
A total of 100 troops from the Indian Army led by Colonel Rahul Joshi and 45 troops of Royal Thai Army led by Colonel Thiradej Limkunagul are taking part in the 14-day Exercise MAITREE which is slated to last till September 29.
The exercise will showcase the planning and execution of joint skills of soldiers while conducting Counter Terrorism Operations in the state-of-the-art Joint Training Node at Umroi Cantonment, about 25 km from Shillong.
“The exercise will be conducted under the overarching framework of United Nations Mandate 2006. Both contingents will share their valuable experiences in the conduct of counter-terrorism operations in form of lectures, drills, demonstrations and skill-at-arm with an aim to refine tactics, techniques and procedures,” said defence spokesperson, Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh.
He said that Exercise MAITREE is an annual joint military exercise which is being conducted alternatively in Thailand and India since 2006. This is the first time that it is being held in Meghalaya.
“The training will strengthen both the countries in terms of security challenges that we are facing right now… Both the Royal Thai Army and Indian Army have a long history… since 2006 we have been conducting joint exercises. We are hoping that we will continue this relationship with the Indian Army,” said Royal Thailand Army’s Col. Thiradej Limkunagul.
Col. Joshi said: “It is an opportunity for the Indian Army to host the Royal Thai Army in this joint military training exercise. Both the countries have a long association and such training enhances our own capabilities and understanding. I am sure both the teams will take lots of many things from this joint military training.”
He added that the military training exercise is important for India due to the changing facets of global terrorism.
The training curriculum will equip the participants of the Royal Thai Army with the requisite knowledge and skills to meet the evolving challenges of peacekeeping operations in accordance with principles, policies and guidelines of the UN.