India - Sri Lanka Joint Exercise Mitra Shakti – 2023 Underway

India - Sri Lanka Joint Exercise Mitra Shakti – 2023 Underway

The ninth edition of Joint Military exercise “Exercise MITRA SHAKTI-2023” commenced on 16th November in Aundh (Pune).  Mitra Shakti exercise is a bilateral joint military exercise between armies of India and Sri Lanka. It is also known as the India-Sri Lanka Joint Training exercise.

The exercise is being conducted from 16th to 29th November 2023. 

The Indian contingent consists of 120 personnel. It is being represented mainly by troops from the MARATHA LIGHT INFANTRY Regiment. 

The Sri Lankan side is being represented by personnel from 53 Infantry Division. 15 personnel from Indian Air Force and five personnel from Sri Lankan Air Force are also participating in the exercise.

The aim of the exercise is to jointly rehearse conduct of Sub Conventional operations under Chapter VII of United Nations Charter. 

The  Scope of the exercise includes synergising joint responses during counter-terrorist operations. 

Both sides will practice tactical actions such as raid, search and destroy missions, heliborne operations, etc. In addition, Army Martial Arts Routine (AMAR), combat reflex shooting and Yoga will also form part of the exercise curriculum.

Exercise MITRA SHAKTI – 2023 will also involve employment of Drones and Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems besides helicopters. 

Drills to secure helipads and undertake casualty evacuation during counter-terrorist operations will also be rehearsed jointly by both sides. 

Mission of the Mitra Shakti 
The mission of the Mitra Shakti is to enhance the interoperability and operational ability of armies of India and Sri Lanka

Collective efforts will focus on achieving an enhanced level of interoperability amongst the troops and reduce the risk of life and property while keeping the interests and agenda of the UN at the forefront during peace keeping operations.

Both sides will exchange views and practices of joint drills on a wide spectrum of combat skills that will facilitate the participants to mutually learn from each other. 

Sharing of best practices will further enhance the level of defence cooperation between Indian Army and Sri Lankan Army. The exercise will also foster strong bilateral relations between the two neighbouring nations.

Key Takeaways 

  • Latest edition is the 9th edition and is taking place in 2023. 
  • Mitra Shakti-VIII took place in 2021. It was held in Sri Lanka.