India and Africa begin joint field training exercise AFINDEX-19

19 March 2019 (Last Updated March 20th, 2019 10:14)

The Indian Army has commenced the joint field training exercise with 17 African nations held at Aundh Military Station, Pune.

India and Africa begin joint field training exercise AFINDEX-19
The opening ceremony of India and Africa joint military exercise AFINDEX-19. Credit: Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Defence.

The Indian Army has commenced the joint field training exercise with 17 African nations held at Aundh Military Station, Pune.

Dubbed as Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 (AFINDEX-19), training began with an opening ceremony held on 18 March. It is scheduled to conclude on 27 March.

Maratha Light Infantry contingent is representing India for the first edition of this training exercise.

The 17 African nations are Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The aim of the AFINDEX-19 exercise is to support the participating nations in planning and conducting humanitarian mine assistance (HMA) and peacekeeping operations (PKO) as described under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

“It has become imperative to share best practices in the fields of humanitarian mine assistance and peacekeeping operations to ensure overall peace in the region.”

During the exercise, participants will focus on team building and tactical level operations in accordance with the UN’s mandated tasks.

They will carry out tasks such as the formation of a new mission, siting of a UN headquarters for PKO, siting of military observer sites during the PKO, civilian protection, the establishment of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling and aspects related to HMA.

India is one of the major contributors to peacekeeping in Africa and has participated in several UN missions in the continent.

Golden Katar Division general officer commanding major General Sanjeev Sharma was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying: “Our world is facing a serious challenge wherein various belligerent groups are affecting society across nations. Towards this end, it has become imperative to share best practices in the fields of humanitarian mine assistance and peacekeeping operations to ensure overall peace in the region.”