Indian Army shares jungle survival expertise with French Legion in Shakti-2024

The 7th edition of the joint military exercise Shakti between India and France commenced this week at Umroi, Meghalaya. This year’s iteration, Shakti-2024, marks a significant escalation in complexity, featuring double the troop deployment compared to previous editions.

The focus of the exercise lies in honing skills for ground control operations in mountainous and semi-urban environments, simulating operations under a United Nations mandate. Notably, this year’s Shakti integrates Air Force assets for the first time, alongside Navy and Air Force observers.

One key highlight is the exchange of expertise between the Indian Army and the French contingent, composed of elite soldiers from the Légion étrangère (French Foreign Legion). The Indian Army is sharing its vast experience in jungle survival techniques, while both sides will train in mountain self-preservation tactics. This exchange fosters mutual learning and bolsters the capabilities of both forces.

Shakti-2024 serves as a potent symbol of the intensifying Indo-French defense ties. This follows high-level visits by Indian and French military leaders, including a recent visit by India’s Chief of Defence Staff to France. The exercise paves the way for further collaboration, with the upcoming “Varuna” naval exercise and French participation in India’s “Tarang-Shakti” air exercise slated for later this year.

The emphasis on defense and security cooperation forms the bedrock of the India-France strategic partnership. This was cemented as the cornerstone of the “Horizon 2047 Roadmap,” a strategic vision established during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2023. This collaboration aims to bolster both nations’ self-reliance and strategic autonomy, ultimately contributing to regional peace and stability.


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