JAISALMER: The joint military exercise between India and Russia, Indra-2015, which is presently underway at the Mahajan Field Firing Range since November 8, is now moving towards culmination.
The exercise is focused towards 'counter terrorism operations in the backdrop of desert terrain under a United Nations mandate'.
Defence spokesman Lt Colonel Manish Ojha said, "The exercise is being conducted in two phases. The first phase of combat conditioning and tactical training was completed successfully by both the contingents. The training received by both the armies in the first week was put to practice in the second phase which is termed as validation stage. Both the contingents jointly took part in the validation exercise which included Clearing of an Axis, Establishment of Observation Post, Cordon & Search Operations and House Clearing Drills."
"The troops of the two countries gelled well with each other and exhibited high degree of coordination to produce requisite synergy which would make any operation a success. In addition to their training schedule, both the contingents learnt about the cultural aspects of each other's countries. The exercise has strengthened the bilateral relations between Indian and Russian soldiers - a relation which has stood the test of time," said Ojha.Manish Ojha said, "The Russian Army follows the conscription system and has an approximate strength of eight lakh. All youth have to serve in the armed forces after high school. Exemption is granted only on specific grounds."
He said, "The structure of the two armies is different in many respects. Unlike the Indian Army, Russian Army doesn't have infantry but has mechanised infantry and each section consists of eight men as compared to ten in India. The Indian Army has a division over a brigade whereas Russian Army directly has a corps over brigade bypassing the system of division."
Ojha said, "Russian armed forces have about two lakh officers as compared to India's 45,000 officers. Officers' training there is similar to the training imparted in India at NDA. The Russian Army uses a bore of 5.46mm for its assault rifles and machine guns and its weapons are Ak-74, rocket-propelled grenade, machine guns, automatic grenade launchers whereas India presently uses a bore of 5.56 mm".