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India, China commence 8th edition of counter-terror Army exercise 'Hand-in-Hand' in Meghalaya

PLA fields troops from the Tibet Military Command for drill under a UN mandated scenario

December 7, 2019 By Vishal Thapar Photo / Video(s): By Indian Army
Indian and Chinese troops line up at the inaugural ceremony of the 8th edition of Exercise Hand-in-Hand at Umroi in Meghalaya. This is the first time that the two sides are holding a counter-terror drill in India's North-East

Even the Indian Air Force and Navy are deeply reluctant to engage in exercises with their Chinese counterparts, the 8th edition of Hand-in-Hand, the company-level Army exercise between the Asian giants commenced at Umroi in Meghalaya on December 7. This is the first time the exercise is being held in India's North-East.

"The scope of this exercise cover company level Joint Training on Counter Terrorism Operation in semi-urban terrain under United Nations mandate. The exercise is aimed at building and promoting positive relations between both the armies," an Indian Army spokesperson stated. The two-week bilateral exercise will continue till December 20.

The Indian contingent commander, Colonel KJ Singh, shaking hands with his Chinese counterpart, Colonel Hu Chunguang of the PLA Tibet Military Command's 1st Infantry Battalion

The Chinese People's Liberation Army has fielded a company of 130 personnel from the Tibet Military Command, the formation which is sometimes involved in border stand-offs with Indian troops along the disputed boundary. The Indian participants from the exercise have been drawn from the Red Horns Division of the Eastern Command.

"The scope of this exercise cover company level Joint Training on Counter Terrorism Operation in semi-urban terrain under United Nations mandate. The exercise is aimed at building and promoting positive relations between both the armies," an Indian Army spokesperson stated

The Chinese contingent arrived on December 6 for the exercise at the Borjhar airbase at Guwahati. The location of the exercise is the Joint Training Node, Umroi.

Major General Deepak Mehra, general officer commanding of the Red Horns Division addressed participating troops at the inaugural ceremony.

The focus on initial four days of the exercise will be on orientation to the training area, lectures on counter insurgency/counter terrorism environment, firing by each other's weapons, and drills to deal with Improvised Explosive Devices, the Army spokesperson stated. drills.

Indian and Chinese troops salute during the play out of the Chinese anthem at the inaugural ceremony of the exercise