India-Africa joint field training exercise to kick off on March 18


A 10-day long Africa-India Joint Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX-19) between the Indian Army and 16 African nations will be conducted in Pune from March 18 to 27.

As many as 10 personnel, each from the participating nations from the African continent and personnel of Maratha Light Infantry of Indian Army, will participate in the joint exercise which will be conducted at two locations in Pune’s Foreign Training Node at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering in Kirkee.

The aim of the exercise is to train the participating contingents in Humanitarian Mine Assistance (HMA) and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) under the United Nations Charter. In addition to the participating nations from the African continent, officers from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar would attend the exercise as Observers.

The joint exercise focuses on incorporating the current dynamics of the United Nations Peace Keeping operations through practical and comprehensive discussions and tactical exercises. The joint exercise will focus on achieving interoperability, learning each other’s methodologies and tactics through synchronised operational level planning and tactical level training.

It will cover the dynamics of raising a Mission headquarters, nuances of establishing military observer team sites in disturbed areas. Tactical aspects of various tasks to be undertaken by the peacekeeping force which includes protection of civilians, the establishment of a standing combat deployment, convoy protection, aspects of patrolling and understanding rules of engagements under Chapter VII of United Nations Charter for Peace Keeping missions, will also be covered.

The nuances of Humanitarian Mine Assistance being covered will include establishment and functioning of Mine Action Teams (MAC), identification and survey of contaminated areas and mechanical/manual demining techniques.

An equipment display of all indigenously developed defence related equipment is also planned on March 26 and 27 during the joint exercise under the aegis of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) at the Foreign Training Node in Aundh. Major players from both the civil and defence industry will put up stalls and showcase their military hardware in an attempt to globalise the indigenous defence products.

The exercise is expected to greatly facilitate sharing of Indian Armed Forces experiences in United Nations Peace Keeping operations with countries in Africa and shall significantly enhance relations with the African continent.

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