Mitra Shakti 2017 is the 5th joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka held in Pune, Maharashtra. It is a two weeks exercise from 13th October to 25th October 2017 at Aundh Military Station. It has been one of the key defence cooperation between both the countries. The training exercise is based on Counter Terrorist Operations (CTO) and Infantry Company from both countries are participating in it. The series of the act started in 2012 to counter China. The armies of India and Sri Lanka also serve together in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions. Last year the training was held at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka when the main focus was to enhance interoperability in CI and CT operations under the UN mandate.
A statement says that “The joint exercise is focused on enhancing inter-operability in counter-terror operations.”
It is considered as a great effort in response to the growing influence of China in Asia and Indian Ocean region. The military exercise shows to the world that both India and Sri Lanka are aware of the growing terrorism and stand together against it. The final Tactical Exercise on October 25 will be attended by the senior military observers of both countries. The training will include basic military tactics, weapons training and complex battle strategies. The grand opening ceremony on 13th October had started with a parade, followed by skill displays carried out by both the countries. Display of Unarmed Combat, Khukri Dance and Pipe Band was carried out by Indian Army and Udarata Narthanaya by Sri Lanka Army. The fly-past by two Cheetah helicopters of Indian Army Aviation Corps carrying national flags of both countries was held at the start.
The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance interoperability while carrying out counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate. A comprehensive training programme spanning fourteen days has been drawn up for the purpose.
- The training will include basic military tactics, weapons training and complex battles strategies.
- Both the countries will share their experience and tactics.
- The aim of this exercise is to exchange best training practices of both countries to make a better relationship between both the armies.
- The aim is to enhance Counter Terrorist Operations and Infantry Company.