The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti 2016’ is being conducted at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka from 24 October to 06 November 2016. The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise Mitra Shakti is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate. A comprehensive training programme spanning fourteen days has been drawn up for the Mitra Shakti.
The Indian Army contingent for the Mitra Shakti had reached Sri Lanka on 23 Oct 2016. The Indian Contingent is represented by a platoon from the RAJPUTANA RIFLES Regiment and the Sri Lankan Army will be represented by a platoon from the Sinha Regiment.
The Opening Ceremony was held on 24 October 2016 during which the troops of both contingents participated in a ceremonial Parade. Brig B L Ratnayake, Commandant of Sri Lankan Sinha Regimental Centre from the Sri Lankan Army also addressed the troops.
In the initial two stages of the Mitra Shakti, both armies would get familiar with the respective methodology of such operations, each other’s arms and equipment and the command and control systems. It will then graduate towards tactical understanding to enhance inter operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations.
The previous exercise with the Sri Lankan Army was successfully conducted in the month of September 2015 at Pune in India. “Mitra Shakti” series of bilateral exercises is one of the major bilateral defence cooperation initiatives between India and Sri Lanka since 2013.