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Indo-French joint military drill under 'Exercise Shakti-2019' in Raj from Oct 31

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JAIPUR (PTI): Indian and French armies will conduct joint counter-terrorism drills under 'Exercise Shakti-2019' in the Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan from October 31 to November 13, officials have said.

The joint exercise will focus on counter-terrorism operations in the backdrop of semi-desert terrain under the United Nations mandate, defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh said on Friday.

A contingent of the Sikh Regiment of south western command will represent the Indian Army in the exercise, while the French Army delegation will be represented by troops of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of the 6th Armoured Brigade, he said.

The biennial exercise between the armies of the two countries had stated in 2011.

The French troops will arrive in India on Saturday for the exercise which will be held at foreign training node at the Mahajan field firing range in western sector of Rajasthan, Col Ghosh said.

He said the training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and the learning of best practices from each other.

The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two armies, Col Ghosh said.

The training will culminate in a 36-hour-long validation exercise which will involve neutralisation of terrorists in a village hideout, he said.

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