Joint Military Exercise

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  • Ex Yudh Abhyas 2021: Demonstration of Indo-US High Altitude Military Interoperability

    Targeted towards enhancing cold weather survival skills and tactical offensive operations in high-altitude environment, the latest iteration of Yudh Abhyas has significance for both Indian Army’s strategy for its Northern Borders and the US Army’s Arctic Strategy.

    November 17, 2021

    Military Logistics Agreements: Wind in the Sails for Indian Navy

    Availability of logistics support facilities with partner countries will further enhance the ability of the Indian Navy to maintain appropriate ‘presence’ for extended periods in the wider Indo-Pacific.

    November 26, 2019

    The Malabar Exercises: An Appraisal

    India should take the lead in forming an overarching security quad along with Australia, Japan and the US in the Indo-Pacific region.

    July 18, 2017

    Games Navies Play: Anti-Access and Area Denial in Maritime Asia

    Anti-Access and Area Denial in Maritime Asia

    A sound sensor array in the Indian Ocean could prove invaluable for India which has a major anti-submarine warfare handicap and a lack of operational submarines.

    June 16, 2016

    Status Of Jointness In Indian Security Apparatus

    Status Of Jointness In Indian Security Apparatus

    Jointness and integration of the military is an inevitable requirement for the modern-day battlefield. The principles underlying these features are inter-service cooperation and economy of effort, both of which are crucial to war fighting. The lack of jointness and integration in the Indian armed forces received an impetus post Kargil. The Kargil Review Committee and Group of Ministers on National Security highlighted the pitfalls in the existing system and made a number of recommendations.


    China-India Joint Military Drill: Time for a Review

    Joint military exercises hold strategic relevance but India must consider seriously that despite the Annual Defence Dialogue mechanism and joint training exercises, incursions in the border regions have increased over the years.

    September 02, 2013

    Maninder asked: Has the joint command at the ANC been a success or a failure? What is the way ahead?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: The raison d'etre for setting up of a joint command in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been in existence since the 1970s. The issue was expedited in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict. Based on the Kargil Review Committee and on recommendations of the Group of Ministers, the joint command came into existence on October 8, 2001, with elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard operating under one unified command. The main duties entrusted to the command were broadly:

    • Defence of the territorial integrity, waters and airspace of the islands.
    • Ensuring that eastern approaches to the Indian Ocean remain free from threats for unhindered passage of shipping.
    • Monitoring of SLOCs in the designated Area of Responsibility (AOR).
    • Exercising surveillance over EEZ.
    • Establishment of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) for air defence and air space control.
    • Undertaking joint planning for contingencies and infrastructure planning.

    The Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) was initially established as an ‘experimental’ command. One aim was to observe if other such ‘theatre commands’ could be established, based on the functional success of the ANC. The ANC, given the existent assets and infrastructure that were placed under the joint command, by and large has met all its main duties described above with relative success. Any further increase is considered not feasible given the constraints of available land and associated issues, like ecological aspects, etc.

    Although the issue of more theatre commands is an ongoing debate, the ANC could be considered a success as ‘jointness’ was inherent due to the small size of forces positioned there, distance from mainland India and geography (proximity of land, sea and air), which brought about more interaction at the functional level.

    PLA’s Top 10 Exercises in 2012: An Analysis

    An analysis of these exercises reveals some interesting insights into the People's Liberation Army (PLA) thinking, its priorities, areas of interest and countries of concern.

    March 21, 2013

    Karthik Shetty asked: After the recent tension between India & Pakistan, would China be conducting joint military exercise with India? How serious is China about these exercises?

    Mandip Singh replies: The India-China military exercises are a part of confidence building measures (CBMs) that contribute towards a peaceful, just and fair settlement of the India-China border dispute based on historical evidence and international law. These CBMs were signed in 1993 and 2006 and continue to be revisited to further improve the understanding and engagement between the two militaries. The first naval exercises between the two countries were held in 2003, off the coast of Kochi, and in 2005, in East China Sea. The first army exercise code named 'Hand in Hand' was held in Kunming in China in 2007, and the next year in Belgaum in India.

    Military relations were disrupted after China denied visa to India's Northern Army Commander, Lt General B.S. Jaswal. It was only during the visit of China's Minister of Defence, Liang Guanglie, to India in September 2012 that there was a thaw in the relations. At the 5th Annual Defence Dialogue held at Beijing on 14-15 January 2013, it was agreed to resume the exercises between the two militaries of all three services - Army, Navy and Air Force. At no time has Pakistan been an influence in this relationship. The engagements between the two militaries have nothing to do with India’s relations with Pakistan, nor are these exercises relevant to China-Pakistan relations.

    The fact that China and India have moved ahead with resumption of these military exercises, unconditionally, and with no caveat is an indicator of the mutual understanding between the two countries to carry forward the engagement and dialogue to the next level. There is no reason to believe and no indications to suggest that China may not be ‘serious’ to go ahead with these exercises. It may be prudent to recount that, besides political dividends, such exercises develop understanding, foster goodwill and assist in establishing standard operating procedures between two militaries when operating jointly in humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

    Arun asked: What is the significance of Indian participation in international military exercises? What are the advantages of our participation?

    Mandip Singh replies: In the domain of international relations, military diplomacy has, in recent years, emerged as a major tool to further diplomatic interests of nations. Participation in international level military exercises is an indication of the highest level of trust and confidence between the member nations. It is a key confidence building measure (CBM) and an indication of the faith reposed by India on another nation or a group of member nations.

    On the operational side, military exercises enable militaries to understand each other’s drills and procedures, overcome language barriers, and facilitate familiarisation with equipment capabilities. It also facilitates understanding and familiarisation with new technologies that other countries may be utilising and enables on-the-job training of each other’s crews. This is particularly useful in the event of joint operations whether in war or in operations other than war (OOTW) - humanitarian aid, disaster relief, anti-piracy, etc – when nations come together for a common cause. A fine example was the aid assistance provided by a host of nations during the tsunami in South East Asia where a massive land, air and sea rescue effort was successfully executed to provide relief to the affected countries.

    Perhaps, the most important advantage of joint military exercises is ‘strategic signalling’. A joint exercise with one or more nations serves the purpose of signalling to a third country of the influence we have in the region and a demonstration of our resolve to further our diplomatic objectives.

    On the intangible side, military exercises promote brotherhood and camaraderie between soldiers and militaries. Besides goodwill, it is a tool for projection of a nation’s soft power – culture, language, customs, beliefs, food habits and lifestyle. Soldiers all over the world have almost similar rank and organisational structures, which helps establish a unique spirit of bonding and friendship between their communities irrespective of the country of origin.