India and Mongolia launched a military exercise this week which will last until the beginning of May.
The 11th iteration of Nomadic Elephant began with an opening ceremony on April 25 and will last until May 8. The exercise will feature a platoon of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and two observers on the Indian side as well as 60 personnel from the Mongolian Armed Forces.
The aim of the exercise, the Indian Army said, is to boost interoperability between the two armies and strengthen cooperation in the areas of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.
“The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and interoperability between the two armies to fight in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment[s] under the United Nation[s] mandate,” the Army said in a statement.
The drills will include a 48-hour joint outdoor exercise covering specialized operations in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. India will also share its experience in the field in a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations which will include house clearing and room intervention techniques in hostage situations, establishing mobile checkpoints, intelligence gathering and dealing with improvised explosive devices.
Both sides will also participate in other cultural activities including sports events.
Nomadic Elephant caps a month of intense diplomatic engagement between India and Mongolia, which began with a meeting between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Mongolian counterpart in early April and culminated in the visit of Mongolia’s foreign minister Lundeg Purevsuren to New Delhi on April 25.
Last May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first ever Indian premier to visit Mongolia during the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The historic trip stressed shared religious heritage as well as economic and trade cooperation.