India, Mongolia hold joint military exercises

By K. V. Prasad

The troops of India and Mongolia engaged in joint exercises, with the latest two-week drill in counter-insurgency ending in Belgaum on Sunday.

Nearly 30 officers and personnel of the Mongolian armed forces participated in the workout called “Nomadic Elephant” along with 50 officers and personnel of the Indian Army in counter-terrorism environment.

The current engagement tapered and ended around the time the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was in India and Pakistan.

Steady growth

Defence cooperation and relations between the militaries of the two countries has seen a steady growth over the last decade with the first joint exercise in 2004. For the last few years, the joint drills are being held every year.

In recent years, the exercises varied with the one in 2005 being held at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairnagte, Mizoram while another exercise held in Mongolia in September 2008 was on peacekeeping operations.
Top meetings

Besides exercises, both countries have had visits of top brass with the former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff Lt. Gen. Noble Thamburaj visiting Mongolia last year on the Mongolian armed forces day while its Chief of the Army Staff visited the Defence Expo here.

Mongolian Defence Minister L. Bold was one of the dignitaries at the 2009 Aero India and also took part in the Joint Working Group meeting. (The Hindu, Indian news portal)


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