A-14 day long joint exercise between the armies of India and Sri Lanka “Mitra Shakti” was commenced on Wednesday with an impressive opening ceremony at Diyatalawa in Badulla district of Sri Lanka.
The opening ceremony witnessed a joint ceremonial parade of the two contingents that was commanded by the Company Commander of the Indian Army contingent and was reviewed by Brig HPNK Jayapathirana of Sri Lankan Army, a defence PRO said.
The exercise that is being conducted from March 26 to April 8 has an Indian Army contingent that comprises of a company group from 1st Battalion The BIHAR Regiment (BATALIK) and a similar strength from the 1st Gemunu Watch Battalion of the Sri Lankan Army.
The primary focus of the exercise will be to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban/rural environment and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations.
The exercise provides an ideal platform for both contingents to share their operational experience and expertise while also being instrumental in broadening the interoperability and cooperation between the armies of India and Sri Lanka.
Towards the end of the training, a validation phase of the exercise will be held that will be witnessed by senior military observers and dignitaries of Sri Lankan Army.
Started in 2013, Exercise Mitra Shakti is in continuation of a series of joint exercises that is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between the armies of India & Sri Lanka.