India and Mongolia begin joint army exercise Nomadic Elephant

The Indian and Mongolian Armies have started a joint training exercise, code-named Nomadic Elephant at Belgaum in Karnataka, India.

Nomadic Elephant, scheduled to continue for ten days, aims to improve the armies’ skills and interoperability while conducting counter-insurgency operations, and further enhance synergy between the two nations.

Unidentified army officials were quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that around 44 specially selected troops of the Indian army’s Jat Regiment would take part in the infantry exercise, alongside the Mongolian contingent consisting of 38 soldiers.

Several counter insurgencies and counter terrorism operations will be conducted to help the personnel enhance training infrastructure for UN peacekeeping missions in conflict areas.

According to the officials, special sessions will also be included in the eighth round of bilateral exercise to help modernise Mongolian defence establishment.

The first Nomadic Elephant exercise was held in 2004, and was conducted almost annually until 2008 in Mongolia.

In 2005, the exercises were performed at the Indian army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) at Vairnagte, which is based in Mizoram, India.

As well as the joint exercises, the two countries conduct frequent visits of senior military officials, and have also established a joint working group to plan details of defence cooperation, including staging regular joint military exercises.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army is also holding a separate, joint counter-terrorism combat exercise, dubbed INDRA, with its Russian counterpart at a training range in the Republic of Buryatia in south-east Russia.

AT 08AUG12

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