India, Nepal begin joint military training exercise

A Gorkha battalion from the elite Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army is also participating in the exercise

India, Nepal begin joint military training exercise


India and Nepal on Friday began the 16th edition of the annual joint military training exercise aimed at enhancing cooperation and interoperability between the two armies for counter-insurgency and disaster relief operations.

The 'Surya Kiran' exercise commenced at Nepal Army Battle School in Saljhandi in the Rupandehi district of Lumbini Zone near the Nepal-India border.

"Joint India-Nepal Military Exercise SURYAKIRAN-XVI commenced at Saljhandi today. The current edition aims at enhancing cooperation & interoperability bw the two armies for Counter Insurgency & Disaster Relief ops," the Indian embassy here tweeted.

The exercise commenced with the unfurling of the national flags and both armies marching in harmony on the Indian and Nepali military tunes.

“During the two weeks of arduous exercise, an Infantry Battalion each from the Indian Army and the Nepali Army will be training together to enhance inter-operability and share experience on counter-insurgency and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” according to a statement issued by the Indian embassy.

A Gorkha battalion from the elite Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army is participating in the exercise, it said.

“During the exercise, both armies will familiarise themselves with each other’s weapons, equipment, tactics and procedures while operating in counter insurgency environment especially in mountainous terrain. To further enhance the scope and scale of the exercise, the contingents will be exposed to scenarios dealing with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, high altitude warfare and jungle warfare operations,” it said.

The exercise will go a long way in improving bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between both armies and further strengthening the unique, traditional and time-tested friendship between India and Nepal, the statement said.

“Suryakiran series of exercises also stands testimony to strong Indo-Nepal relations which are vast and varied, and unlikely to be found anywhere in the world,” it said.

A team from the Indian Army arrived in Nepal on Wednesday to participate in the exercise.

The joint military exercise includes relief work and medical treatment as part of the disaster management and counter-terrorism practices, a press statement issued by the Nepal Army said.

Nepali Army official Bima Kumar Wagley is leading a 334-member Nepali team and Indian Army’s Colonel Himanshu Bahuguna is leading another 334-member team during the joint military exercise that will last till December 29.

The 'Surya Kiran' exercise is conducted annually in Nepal and India. The 15th edition of the joint exercise was held in Pithoragarh, India.

During the joint exercise, the soldiers will put into practice theoretical knowledge of jungle warfare relating to counter-mutiny and counter-terrorism military skill and disaster management, according to the Nepal Army headquarters.

The army personnel of the two countries will also share each other's theoretical, practical, as well as special experiences.

Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.

The country shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services. 

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