India-Japan joint exercise Dharma Guardian begins

New Delhi Feb 26 (Representative) The 5th edition of joint military exercise — Dharma Guardian — between the Indian Army and the Japan Ground Self Defence Force commenced on Sunday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan. The aim of the exercise is to foster military cooperation and enhance combined capabilities to execute joint operations in semi-urban environment under Chapter VII of United Nations Charter, a Defence Ministry statement said. The exercise would focus on high degree of physical fitness, joint planning, joint tactical drills and basics of special arms skills. Tactical drills to be practiced during the exercise will include establishing of temporary operating base, creating an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Grid, setting up mobile vehicle check post, executing Cordon and Search Operations in a hostile village, heliborne operations and house intervention drills. A weapon and equipment display will also be organised showcasing ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative and the growing defence industrial capability of the country.

The Exercise will commence on March 9. Exercise Dharma Guardian is an annual exercise and conducted alternatively in India and Japan.The contingent of both sides comprises of 40 personnel each. The Japanese contingent is being represented by troops from the 34th Infantry Regiment and Indian Army contingent is representedby a Battalion from the Rajputana Rifles. Lieutenant General Togashi Yuichi, Commanding General, Eastern Army, Japan Ground Self Defence Force is also scheduled to visit India on the sidelines of “Exercise Dharma Guardian”. The General officer will visit Mahajan Field Firing Ranges on March 3 and witness combat shooting demonstration, Special Heliborne Operation (SHBO) and house intervention drills. Exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’ will enable the two sides to share their best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting tactical operations. The Exercise will also facilitate developing inter-operability, bonhomie and camaraderie between troops of both the sides. This will enhance the level of defence cooperation, further fosteringbilateral relations between the two friendly nations.