NEW DELHI: The maiden joint military exercise ‘Frinjex-23’ to be held between the Indian Army and French Army at Pangode Military Station, Thiruvananthapuram, on March 7-8 will see a new format.
The Indian Army said in a statement, “It is for the first time armies of both the nations are engaging in this format with each contingent comprising of a Company Group each from the Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Army troops and French 6th Light Armoured Brigade.”
The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, coordination and cooperation between both forces at tactical level. The scope of the exercise involves the establishment and operationalisation of a joint command post to secure an envisaged area for undertaking joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, establishing an Internally Displaced Population (IDP) camp and moving disaster relief material.
“The Joint exercise will further cement defence cooperation with France which is a key aspect of the overall Indo-France strategic partnership,” the Army said. There is an institutionalised format of military exercises between the three services of the two countries, namely Exercise Shakti (Army), Exercise Varuna (Navy) and Exercise Garuda (Air Force). On the military front, various staff courses, training programmes etc. also take place regularly. Cooperation in defence is the cornerstone of the India-France strategic partnership.
The two countries established a Ministerial level Defence dialogue starting in 2018. The Indian armed forces have been operating French defence equipment for long. This includes the Jaguar, Mirage-2000 and Rafale jets.