India and Nepal held a two-week long joint training exercise that concluded Sunday.
The two neighboring countries held the tenth iteration of Surya Kiran-X at the Army Battle School (NABS) in Saljhandi, western Nepal from 31 October to 13 November. The exercise is held annually and alternates between the two countries.
For India, the exercise series with Nepal is the largest in terms of troop participation, reflective of its importance within the military training exercises New Delhi undertakes with various countries.
The exercise this year featured troops of the Indian Army’s Kumaon Regiment and the Nepal Army’s Jabar Jung Battalion. Activities during the exercise included basic familiarization with weapons, equipment and concepts, as well as a 72-hour outdoor exercise where troops of both contingents carried out a cordon and search operation in a mock village.
According to a press statement by the Indian defense ministry, the exercise “provided an ideal platform for the troops of the two countries to share their experiences” at the battalion level in fields ranging from counterterrorism operations to disaster management.
“The Joint Battalion Level Exercise will enhance defense cooperation and relations between the two nations. It is an ideal platform for the contingent of both nations to share their experience and gain mutually,” the statement said.
“The exercise will be yet another step towards taking traditional friendship between the two nations to greater heights.”
Chief of Army Staff Gen. Dalbir Singh, who was on a visit to Nepal from November 11 to 13 to boost military ties between the two countries, also witnessed the exercise. During his trip, he also paid a courtesy call on Nepal’s president Bidhya Devei Bhandari, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (popularly known as Prachanda) as well as the Chief of the Army Staff of Nepal’s Army Rajendra Chhetri and Defense Minister Balkrishna Khand.
The developments come as Nepal’s new Maoist party-led coalition government completed its first 100 days in office.