Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is expected to make a visit to Sri Lanka to observe the 8th consecutive iteration of the joint Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ between Sri Lanka and India, said Army Commander General Shavendra Silva.
General MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, was commissioned in The Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in Jun 1980.
He held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Army Staff before assuming the appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff on 31 Dec 2019.
An all arms Indian contingent for ‘Mitra Shakti’, headed by Colonel Prakash Kumar, Commanding Officer are in Sri Lanka for the two-week long exercise.
From October 3 to 17, the India-Sri Lanka bilateral joint Exercise, designed to enhance understanding of transnational terrorism, inter-operability skills, conduct of joint tactical operations, sharing of each other’s best practices and experiences, etc will get underway with Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) troops at the Combat Training School in Ampara.
Those 120 Indian Army personnel participate in the two-week long Exercise involving tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment arrived on an Indian Air Force aircraft.
The Sri Lanka Army is represented by 120 troops of equal numbers. Under the close supervision of General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Major General Nishantha Manage, General Officer Commanding, 53 Division functions as the Exercise Director with the Deputy Director of the Exercise.
The Indian contingent participating in the Exercise is commanded by Colonel Prakash Kumar of the Indian Army. Colonel Girish Godial, Colonel John Daniel and the Lady Officer Lieutenant Colonel Zulage Meera of the Indian Army as Observers will evaluate the Exercise during the final phase of the training before the Exercise culminates on 17 October 2021.
The annual training programme which has largely contributed to strengthen bilateral military cooperation, understanding and bonds of neighborly relations between both services takes place alternately either in India or Sri Lanka every year.
Adhering to COVID-19 health guidelines, the Exercise would maintain the bio bubble during its conduct.