As part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for SCO member states. The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from 22 August to 29 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk, Russia. This will be a historic occasion due to the maiden participation of India post becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017. This exercise marks a major milestone in the multilateral relations of SCO member nations. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under SCO Charter.
Indian contingent of 200 personnel is primarily composed of troops from infantry and affiliated arms & services alongwith Indian Air Force. The Indian contingent has been put through a strenuous training schedule which includes firing, heliborne operations, combat conditioning, tactical operations and house intervention drills.
The entire exercise contingent will reach the exercise location on 14 August, wherein the initial days will be utilised for operational orientation with exercise setting and terrain. The staff phase of the exercise will be conducted from 22 August to 28 August 18 in which Indian contingent will establish a Joint Staff Headquarters and conduct a staff exercise prior to the evolution of a joint operational plan. The opening ceremony for the exercise will be conducted on 22 August. The field training phase of the exercise will be conducted on 29 August which will encompass live firing by air, attack helicopters, artillery, infantry combat vehicles & infantry weapons. The closing ceremony will be conducted on 29 August 2018.
The joint exercise will strengthen mutual confidence, interoperability and enable sharing of best practices among armed forces of SCO Nations. It will be a landmark event in the history of SCO defence cooperation.
Col Aman Anand