India and the Maldives will begin Exercise Ekuverin, their eighth annual joint military training event, in Belagavi on Friday.
A flypast by the Army Aviation team and a march-past by the two contingents are slated to launch the exercise, said an official release.
“The focus of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism operations in an urban or semi-urban environment under the U.N. charter,” the Ministry of Defence said.
The exercise will be an opportunity for the two armies to activate the Joint Operations Centre at Belagavi. The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability between the two armies as the contingents hone their tactical and technical skills.
Starting 2009, Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force have been holding Exercise Ekuverin, meaning ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language, in their countries on alternate years. The last one was held at Kaddhoo in the Lammu Atol of the tiny Indian Ocean nation.
In an address ahead of the exercise, a senior officer of the Indian Army told the contingents that the joint training would enhance interoperability between the two armed forces, the Ministry said.
The Maldivian team includes two officers and 43 other ranks, while the Indian Army is represented by three officers, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 39 other ranks belonging to a Gorkha Rifles Battalion (Sirmoor Rifles.)