At Exercise Dustlik-II between India and Uzbekistan from March 10-19, the Indian Army will showcase its Counter Insurgency (CI) and Counter Terrorism (CT) skills. The focus will be on people-centric intelligence based surgical operations, incorporating technological advancements to minimize collateral damage, a defence source said.
The broad aim of the exercise is CI,CT operations in mountainous, rural and urban scenarios under United Nations (UN) mandate and the Army will share the experiences and lessons it has gained in Kashmir, an Army source said. A lot of technology has been incorporated in CI, CT operations and efficiency has considerably gone up in operations which also helps in minimizing collateral damage which would also be showcased, the source stated.
India has a series of joint exercises scheduled in the next financial year beginning April 2021 including with Central Asian Republics — Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan — in addition to Mongolia and Russia as part of its growing engagement with the region.
“Uzbekistan is important to India for security and connectivity to Central Asian region and also Iran,” a defence source said, underscoring the importance and adding that it is also one alternative India has with respect to Afghanistan.
The Army’s 13 Kumaon regiment, also called the Rezang La battalion for its heroic action in the 1962 war with China, has been nominated from the Indian side for the company level CI, CT exercise being held at Chaubatia, near Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. The validation exercise is scheduled on March 17 and 18 and the closing ceremony on March 19.
The Uzbek contingent arrived in India on March 7 and the members underwent RTPCR tests for COVID-19. They are scheduled to depart on March 21.
There will also be joint operations and familiarisation with each other’s practices. The Army will also showcase use of force multipliers including helicopters, Special Forces, specialist equipment and establishment of automated surveillance grid for situational awareness among others, the Army source said. Accordingly, the Indian contingent has representatives from Para Special Forces, Signal and Engineers in addition to an interpreter.
The exercise Dustalik began in 2019 and was hosted by Uzbekistan. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had attended the curtain raiser of the first edition.
Separately, last week, based on a request from the Turkmenistan Special Forces, the Indian Army commenced training, at its Special Forces Training School, of paratroopers from that country in combat free fall as a precursor to a series of other customised professional courses which will assist in capability enhancement of the Turkmenistan Special Forces.