CHAUBATI: Indian Army imparted its tested counter terrorism operation skills to the soldiers of the Uzbekistan Army in its foreign training node at Chaubatia in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand under the ongoing Dustlik-II series of Exercise. The use of helicopters to insert soldiers into the operations area and also training on modern weapons like the Seg Sauer of the Indian soldiers are part of the capsule.
Colonel Amit Malik, Commanding Officer of the troops of 13th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment nominated from Indian side told, “The aim of the exercise is to conduct sub-unit level operations in CT role under United Nations (UN) mandate and in the first two days both sides shared each-others drills, demonstrations and best practices.”
“We are also showcasing our technological advancements... They shared their survival skills with us,” he stated while addressing the media..
Talking about the weapons training Col Malik said "As far as weapons are concerned we have Sig Sauer rifles... we are sharing our weapons with the Uzbek troops. At present Uzbek troops are learning firing from Sig Sauer rifles,”
The main personal weapon of the Uzbek Army is the Assault Klashnikov (AK) series of rifles. The Indian and Uzbekistan Army teams also practiced the static slithering as part of their ongoing bilateral exercise and it will be demonstrated using the MI-17 helicopters of the Indian Air force during the validation phase of the exercise.
The 10-day exercise named as “Dustlik” which in Uzbek language means friendship began on March 10 and is being held under the United Nations mandate focusing on countering terrorism operations in the mountainous terrain.
A total of 45 personnel, including 12 officers from Uzbekistan Army are participating in the exercise. Similar number of soldiers are also participating from the Indian side.
Indian Army has selected troops of Kumaon Regiment and the Uzbekistan Army troops belong to different Units of its Central District.
The Indian Army troops belong to the 13th Battallion of Kumaon Regiment which is also called as the Rezang La Battalion which lost its 114 men fighting valiantly agains the Chinese PLA in 1962 India China War.
Dustlik will culminate on March 19 after the validation exercise of March 17 and 18 in which the observers from both the countries will test the skills learnt on various parameters like Cordon and Search Operation, heliborne jumps, room intervention and jungle range shooting,” the commanding officer said.
India and Uzbekistan share a good relationship between the two countries. Uzbekistan deputy defence minister Major General Bakhodir Kurbanov and Uzbekistan Ambassador to India Dilshod Akhatov will attend the validation exercise on March 17-18. A Lieutenant General of the Indian Army will also be present on this day.
The Indian Army procured the US made 72,400 SIG-716 assault rifles in end of 2019. The rifles have been given to all the frontline infantry troops and the rest have been distributed in the remaining infantry units.
The SIG-716 weighing 3.82 kgs and has an effective range of 600m a soldier explained.
Last September, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had approved the procurement of a second batch of 72,400 SIG-716 rifles. The SIG-716 is meant to replace the INSAS rifles in use presently.
The first edition of exercise Dustlik took place in Tashkent in Uzbekistan in 2019. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov presided over the Curtain Raiser of the military drill in 2019.