A bilateral training exercise between armies of India and Australia will kick-start in Rajasthan from Monday, the defence ministry here said. The ‘Austra Hind 22’ exercise will be conducted till December 11.
The ministry said it will be a yearly event that will be conducted alternatively in India and Australia, with the inaugural version starting Monday.
News18 takes a look at the significance of the training exercise:
What is the Aim of the AUSTRA-HIND?
The aim of the exercise is to build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices and promote the ability to operate together while undertaking multi-domain operations in semi-desert terrain under a UN peace enforcement mandate, the ministry said.
#WATCH | The Inaugural Edition of the Joint Military Exercise between IndianArmy & AustralianArmy 'AUSTRAHIND-2022' will be conducted in Rajasthan from 27 Nov-11 Dec with a focus on 'Peace Keeping Operations' under the UN mandate.(Source: Indian Army Twitter handle) pic.twitter.com/Zo3sHBM2xn
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2022
This joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting tactical operations at company and platoon level for neutralising hostile threats, it said.
“Bilateral training exercise ‘AUSTRA HIND 22’ between contingents of the Indian Army and the Australian Army is scheduled to take place at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (Rajasthan) from 28 November to 11 December 2022. This is the first exercise in the series of AUSTRA HIND with participation of all arms and services contingent from both armies," the ministry said in a statement.
‘With Eye on China’
During the months of November and December, India planned a number of drills to strengthen military ties with several friendly countries. This includes the Malabar ‘Quad’ naval exercise off the coast of Japan, a high-altitude exercise in Uttarakhand with the US army, AUSTRA-HIND, and other joint exercises with three ASEAN members (Association of South East Asian Nations).
Malabar, the 26th edition of which ended a week ago, witnessed India deploying its multi-role stealth frigate INS Shivalik, anti-submarine corvette INS Kamorta and the long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I. Australia, Japan and the US are the other members of the ‘Quad’. These joint exercises by the four nations are seen as a strong bulwark against China’s rising naval power in the Indo-Pacific, explains a report by Outlook.
A battalion-level exercise was held by the Indian and US armies in Auli, Uttarakhand, which is only 100 kilometres from India’s line of actual control (LAC) with China. In the midst of rising tensions along the LAC, the ‘Yudh Abhyas’ exercise allowed the Indian army to put its strength in high-altitude combat to the test.
The ‘Austra-Hind’ infantry combat exercise will take place between India and Australia at the Mahajan firing ranges in Rajasthan. India recently took part in an air combat exercise called ‘Pitch Black’ in Darwin, Australia.
The Australian Army contingent comprising soldiers from the 13th Brigade of the 2nd Division has arrived at the exercise location. The Indian Army is represented by troops from the Dogra Regiment, the defence ministry said.
“Training on new generation equipment and specialist weapons including snipers, surveillance and communication equipment to achieve a high degree of situational awareness apart from casualty management, casualty evacuation and planning logistics at battalion/ company level are also planned," it added.
During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of tasks ranging from joint planning, joint tactical drills, sharing basics of special arms skills and raiding a hostile target. The joint exercise, besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, will further help in strengthening ties between India and Australia, the ministry said.
With inputs from PTI
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