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Indo-French military exercise Shakti-2016 started




India and France on January 2016 started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise Shakti-2016 in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan's Bikaner. This is the third edition in the series of bilateral exercises under this banner.

The exercise will be focused on counter terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-urban terrain under United Nations Mandate. It is an important step for the armies to train together and gain from each other’s rich operational experience.The Indian contingent to participate in the exercise will be the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles, part of the Sapta Shakti Command. On the other hand, the French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, will participate in the Shakti-2016. The contingent led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie arrived in Jodhpur on January 2016.

The French 35th Infantry Regiment was raised in 1604 by a member of the gentry from Lorraine whose surname was Nemond. It has at least 12 battle honours to its credit. The battalion has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places.During World War I it was nicknamed As de Trefle (Ace of Clubs). It is now based at the garrison in Belfort.

Both countries have troops deployed in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and therefore sharing each other's military experiences will pay meaningful dividends.This exercise will culminate in a tactical exercise encompassing clearing of pockets of terrorists in rural and urban environment.