NEW DELHI: Lieutenant Colonel Sophia Qureshi, has become the first woman officer to lead an Indian Army contingent in a multilateral military training exercise, which will witness the participation of 18 countries. The Indian Army is hosting its largest multi-national military exercise, Force 18, in Pune.
Qureshi, 35, officer from Corps of Signals, will be leading a 40-member Indian contingent in the training exercise. The officer also happens to be the only woman officer Contingent Commander among all ASEAN Plus contingents that will take part in the exercise.
The Indian Army is hosting its largest ever multi-national military exercise in Pune from 2 to 8 March, inviting participants from 18 ASEAN Plus countries. The field training exercise, named Exercise Force 18, will see the participation of over 360 personnel and its theme will be based on humanitarian mine action and peace keeping operations.
The maiden multinational exercise ever conducted by the ground force on Indian soil will see the participation of 18 ASEAN Plus nations including China, USA, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Army spokesperson Colonel Rohan Anand said in a statement.
In its first phase, over 28 foreign trainers were trained by the Indian Army from 24 Feb to 01 Mar 2016. These trainers will form the training backbone for conducting ‘Exercise FORCE 18’.
Training exercise is giving the Army an opportunity to showcase, learn and share the best fields with friendly foreign countries. The essence of the exercise would be to learn and share the best practices with other Armies of the world and display our commitment for peace and stability in the region.