India, Malaysia militaries train together in jungle warfare

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New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Indian and Malaysian armies are braving inclement weather conditions while jointly training for jungle warfare and counter insurgency operations in the Southeast Asian country.

On Tuesday, the two-week first joint exercise, “Harimau Shakti”, between the two militaries, the Indian army contingent trained at Wardieburn Camp in Kuala Lumpur.

It was raining heavily, the Indian contingent had a hands on experience to battle in the inclement weather conditions, an Indian army spokesperson said in a statement.

“This training is essential for jungle survival as part of any operations in jungle terrain,” the statement said.

“The class was conducted by Major Hafizul, the training officer of 12 Brigade Malaysian Army. He used natural resources available within the camp to pitch bivouac (a temporary shelter used by soldiers in jungle warfare),” the statement said.

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The Indian soldiers also trained in field and battle crafts “as part of the cross training phase”.

Interestingly, the Malaysian Army contingent has in its ranks soldiers and officers of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese origin.

The Indian Army contingent is represented by 4 Grenadiers also called in army circles as the Fighting Fourth, historically known for one of India’s revered hero’s Company Quartermaster Havaldar Abdul Hamid — who was posthumously given India’s highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra, for his bravery during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The battalion has rich experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

The statement said the two militaries shared expertise in countering improvised explosive devices with Indian soldiers also experiencing simulation training in booby traps.

The Malaysian Army combat engineers exchanged their expertise on radio-controlled improvised explosive devices with the combat engineer team from 3 Engineer Regiment of the Indian Army.

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The exercise began on April 30 with the formal handing over of the Regimental Flag to the Malaysian Army, signifying merging of the two contingents under one commander.

The first day of the exercise also saw briefings to the joint contingent on Malaysian country brief, exercise settings and security aspects.

The day ended with a friendly volleyball match, which the visitors won after a stiff competition.

“Both armies stand to hone their tactical and technical skills in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations under the UN mandate. Due emphasis will be laid on increasing inter-operability between forces which is crucial for success of any joint operation,” according to the statement.

–IANS

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