Indian and Egyptian armies commenced an 11-day military drill on Monday in Egypt’s Anshas, aligning with the shared goal of enhancing bilateral defence and security cooperation. It marks the second edition of the special forces exercise, the first one hosted by India the previous year.
The Indian contingent, consisting of 25 personnel from the Parachute Regiment (special forces), participates in the joint exercise known as ‘Cyclone.’ They are joined by their Egyptian counterparts, comprising 25 personnel from the Egyptian Commando Squadron and the Egyptian Airborne Platoon.
The primary objective of the exercise is to familiarise both sides with each other’s operational procedures, specifically in the context of special operations within desert or semi-desert terrain, guided by Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The exercise is strategically designed to enhance bilateral military cooperation, fostering stronger ties between the Indian and Egyptian armies through discussions and rehearsing tactical military drills.
This collaborative effort offers an opportunity for both contingents to strengthen their camaraderie and exchange best practices. It will also act as a platform to achieve shared security objectives and promote bilateral relations between these friendly nations, according to a statement from the Indian Army.
The exercise is structured in three phases and encompasses various aspects. The initial phase involves military exhibitions and tactical interactions, while the second phase concentrates on training related to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), counter-IED measures, and combat first aid. The third and final phase incorporates joint tactical exercises centred around combat in built-up areas and hostage rescue scenarios.
The bilateral relations between India and Egypt have consistently strengthened in recent years. In 2022, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Egyptian Defence Minister General Mohamed Zaki signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Cairo, Egypt, focused on enhancing defence cooperation across various sectors of mutual interest.
A significant milestone in this evolving relationship occurred during a state visit to India from January 24-27 last year, when Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi observed a historic event. A combined band and marching contingent comprising 144 soldiers from the Egyptian Armed Forces, representing its main branches, marched over Kartavya Path for the first time.
India places geopolitical and geostrategic significance on its ties with Egypt, recognising it as a vital political and military power in its extended neighbourhood. Egypt’s unique geographical location, connecting the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean Sea, holds particular importance for India’s maritime trade.
Special forces of India, Kyrgyzstan begin 13-day counter-terror exercise
Meanwhile, at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) in Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh, the annual ‘Khanjar’ exercise, a joint military drill between India and Kyrgyzstan, has commenced with a primary focus on countering terrorism and extremism.
Scheduled from January 22 to February 3, this marks the 11th edition of the annual event, conducted alternately in both countries. The Indian Army contingent, comprising 20 personnel from the Parachute Regiment (special forces), is joined by the Kyrgyzstan contingent, consisting of 20 personnel from its Scorpion Brigade.
The exercise places a significant emphasis on honing Special Forces skills and mastering advanced techniques related to insertion and extraction in challenging environments. Its overarching goal is to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices in countering terrorism and conducting special forces operations in built-up areas and mountainous terrain, guided by Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
The army highlights that this exercise provides a valuable opportunity for both sides to strengthen defence ties while collectively addressing shared concerns related to international terrorism and extremism. According to the Indian Army’s statement, it serves as a platform to showcase the capabilities of cutting-edge indigenous defence equipment, contributing to achieving shared security objectives and fostering bilateral relations.