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India, France hold 7th edition of 'Shakti': What is it and when did it start? Know about all editions

Exercise Shakti: The joint exercise facilitates developing inter-operability, bonhomie and camaraderie between armed forces personnel of the two countries. This also enhances the level of defence cooperation, further fostering bilateral relations between India and France.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: May 22, 2024 14:03 IST
India-France Joint Military Exercise 'Shakti'
Image Source : PIB The seventh edition of the Exercise 'Shakti' commenced on May 13.

Exercise Shakti: India and France attempt to bolster their defence ties through the 7th edition of the Joint Military Exercise 'Shakti'. The latest edition of the exercise started on May 13 and will continue till May 26 in the Umroi region of Meghalaya. This exercise aims to enhance the joint military capabilities of both nations, particularly in conducting Multi-Domain Operations within a sub-conventional scenario, according to a statement from the Indian Army.

Indian Army shared details of the upcoming exercise saying, "Exercise #Shakti 2024 The 7th Edition of Joint Military Exercise between #India & #France will be conducted from 13 to 26 May 2024 in #Umroi, #Meghalaya. The aim of the exercise is to enhance the joint military capability of both sides to undertake Multi-Domain Operations in a sub-conventional scenario. The joint exercise will facilitate developing #interoperability, #bonhomie and #camaraderie between Armed Forces of both the Nations." 

The Indian Army contingent was represented by a composite team of three Officers, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 37 soldiers from a battalion of Gorkha Rifles and support Arms. The training was focused on aspects of joint planning, mutual understanding of the conduct of operations and identification of coordination aspects required for jointly operating in a Counter Terrorism environment under United Nations mandate. The participating contingents had also been put through paces of combat conditioning and tactical training which included firing drills and 'battle hardening' work sessions. The exercise was conducted in two phases which culminated with a grueling 36-hour exercise to validate the standards achieved during the two phases.

When did exercise 'Shakti' start? 

The bilateral exercise between the Indian and French armies, known as the Shakti Exercise, commenced in 2011. So far, the two countries have successfully conducted six editions of the exercise. This exercise aims to familiarise the armies of both nations with each other's operational procedures and combat drills, focusing particularly on counter-terrorism operations. Defence and security cooperation is one of the principal pillars of the India-France Strategic Partnership. The Shakti Exercise plays a significant role in strengthening this cooperation by enhancing the ability of both armies to work together seamlessly in various operational scenarios.

Previous six editions of 'Shakti'

 2011  Shakti I  Chaubatia (Uttarakhand), India
 2013  Shakti II  Jodhpur (Rajasthan), India
 2016  Shakti III  Bikaner, Rajasthan
 2018  Shakti IV  Mailly-le-Camp, France
 2019  Shakti V  Rajasthan, India
 2021  Shakti VI  Draguignan, France

Aim of the joint exercise 

The exercise is designed not only to strengthen the tactical and operational cooperation between the two armies but also to foster greater interoperability. Both nations believe that by engaging in a variety of joint drills and exercises, the participating forces will develop a deeper understanding of each other's operational methodologies and strategies. This collaborative effort is expected to lead to the development of strong bonds of camaraderie and mutual respect between the armed forces of India and France.

It should be mentioned here that such military exercises are crucial for building and maintaining robust defence relationships, as they allow the forces to share best practices, enhance coordination, and improve overall effectiveness in joint operations. The 'Shakti' exercise, in particular, underscores the commitment of both countries to work closely together to address common security challenges and enhance their collective ability to undertake complex military operations.

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