Pune: The second edition of bilateral tri-services Exercise INDRA 2019 between Indian and Russia concluded at three locations Babina, Pune and Goa on Thursday. Exercise INDRA 2019 which is one unique kind of tri-services exercise that is conducted simultaneously had begun on December 10. The exercise included joint training in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations under the United Nations mandate. Important lectures, demonstrations and drills related to counter-terrorism operations were rehearsed and executed jointly. Both the contingent shared their expertise and experience. Tri-services exercises of this kind and scale are kept reserved by India only for close strategic partners like Russia and the United States.
As part of validation exercise held on 19 December 2019, troops of both the countries carried out specialised joint counter-terrorist operations which were witnessed by dignitaries of services of both countries. The validation exercise was reviewed by Minister of State (Defence) Shripad Yesso Naik in presence of Lieutenant General SK Saini, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command and other senior officers of both the participating countries. The Russian side was represented by Lieutenant General Sergei Serukov, Deputy Commander, Eastern Military District. The exercise concluded on 19 December with a ceremonial closing ceremony by both the contingents.
It is important to mention here that India has pursued the strategic relationship with Russia independent of any other global pressure. In April this year, PM Modi was awarded the highest civilian award of the Russian Federation through a presidential decree which is a rare honour given to only 18 other distinguished personalities.
Exercise INDRA-2019 was very successful in increasing the bonhomie and camaraderie amongst both the participating nations. The exercise provided an opportunity to both the Armies for greater understanding and strengthening of mutual trust and cooperation.