Indian Army chief to visit Britain to witness joint exercise

August 28th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor will be visiting Britain next month to witness the first ever joint training cum exercise on mechanised operations overseas with British troops.“The army chief is undertaking a four-day tour to the UK Sep 1-4 to add impetus to the existing defence relationship between the two countries and broadbase it into a mutually beneficial partnership,” an army official said on condition of anonymity.

During the visit, the army chief will interact with the senior military and civilian defence hierarchy of Britain and will discuss various defence-related issues to strengthen existing defence ties.

“The army chief will visit the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, Defence Academy at Shrivenham, Land Warfare Centre in the Salisbury plains, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and National Army Museum,” the official said.

“During his visit to the Land Warfare Centre, the army chief will witness the training and preparation of the Indian Mechanised Company which will be participating in the first ever joint training cum exercise on mechanised operations overseas with the UK Land Warfare Centre Battle Group.”

The exercise, taking place Aug 27-Sep 26, is the reciprocal engagement of an earlier exercise carried out in the high altitude areas of India last year between Indian paratroopers and the Royal Marines.

“This exercise and training programme was not part of our annual plan this year, but was scheduled following an invitation from the UK Army troops as a reciprocal gesture,” the official added.

The Indian contingent of 126 men would be drawn from the 16 Mechanised Infantry Regiment and they will be based at the Land Warfare Centre.

During their stay, the Indian troops will train and exercise with the British Army troops of the 3rd Mercian Regiment, an amalgamation of old British Army units that have served in India in the mid-19th century.

The training will be held at the battalion-group level and will be followed by two joint operational manoeuvres, “Exercise Lions Strike” and “Exercise Wessex Warriors”.

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