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♦ Indian Air force contingent leaves for Israel to Participate in ‘Ex Blue Flag-17’

On October 31, 2017, a 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel to participate in exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’.

About Exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’:
i. Blue Flag is a bi-annual multilateral exercise held by Israeli Air Force with air forces of other countries.
ii. Objective of this exercise is to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations.
iii. The Indian contingent for exercise ‘Blue Flag – 17’ is led by Gp Capt Maluk Singh VSM.
iv. Indian Air Force is participating in ‘Blue Flag -17’ with C-130J special operations aircraft along with ‘Garud’ commandos.

♦ China, ASEAN hold joint naval drills

China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have held their largest- ever joint maritime rescue exercise, signalling a calm in South China Sea tensions.
i. The exercise, which took place on 31stof oct 2017, in the waters off the southern coast of China’s Guangdong Province, was “the largest of its kind for China and ASEAN members.
ii. It involved about 1,000 participants aboard 20 ships and three helicopters from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar Laos, Philippines and Brunei, rival claimants in the South China Sea with Vietnam notably absent.

♦ Army launches joint training node in Meghalaya

The Indian Army today launched an independent and fully-integrated Joint Training Node (JTN) at Umroi cantonment, Meghalaya.
i.The JTN is the first of its kind in eastern command and is different from other joint training centres in Belgaum, Varangte and Bakloh.
ii. The Indian Army has other joint training centres in Belgaum, Varangte and Baklohbut Umroi is Eastern Command’s first of its kind independent & fully integrated Joint Training Node for Foreign Armies.

♦ Centre clears mega project to acquire 111 helicopters for Navy

On October 31, 2017, Union Defense Ministry approved a major project to acquire 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs.21738 crore.
i. The proposal to acquire these helicopters was cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
ii. Out of the 111 helicopters, 16 will be procured at a fly away condition while 95 will be manufactured in India.

♦ Odisha, West Bengal to hold joint coastal security exercise

In a bid to tighten the existing coastal security mechanism, Odisha and its neighbouring state West Bengal will soon organize a joint security exercise named as ‘Sagar Kavach’along the 630 km long coastline.

More Information about ‘Sagar Kavach’:
i.’ Sagar Kavach’ will be a real-time security exercise, conducted with an aim to check the efficacy of the security parameters and preparedness of various security forces viz. Indian Navy, Marine police force, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Forest Department, Fisheries and district administration.

♦ India, Bangladesh joint military combat exercise “Sampriti” begins in Meghalaya

On November 6, 2017, ‘SAMPRITI 2017’, the seventh edition of Indo-Bangladesh joint military training exercise begun in Meghalaya.

More Information about ‘SAMPRITI 2017’:
i. ’SAMPRITI 2017’ will be held from 6th – 18th November, 2017. Firstly, Command Post Exercise (CPX) will be conducted from 6th – 11th November, 2017 in Umroi, Meghalaya followed by Field Training Exercise (FTX) at India’s Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram
ii. Exercise ‘SAMPRITI’ is held alternately in India and Bangladesh every year.

♦ India, Kazakhstan joint exercise “Prabal Dostyk- 2017” begins in Himachal Pradesh.

On 2nd November 2017, Indian and Kazakhstan armies began a 14-day joint exercise “Prabal Dostyk- 2017” in Himachal Pradesh, to strengthen bilateral relations and exchange skills and experience.

Prabal Dostyk- 2017:
i. This is the second joint military exercise between India and Kazakhstan. The first edition of “Prabal Dostyk” was held in Kazakhstan in 2016.
ii. The joint exercise aims to acquaint the forces with each other’s operating procedures with focus on counter- insurgency and counter-terrorism operationsunder the UN’s mandate.

♦ Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts on November 8 in Goa

The two-day Coastal Security Exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ is to be held on 8th and 9th November, 2017.

Sagar Kavach:
i. The Sagar Kavach exercise is conducted to provide smooth seaward cover along the Goa Coast jointly by all security agencies from coastal belt area line to the limit of territorial water (12 nautical miles).
ii. The Sagar Kavach exercise is being conducted and coordinated by Indian Coast Guard, District Headquarter at Goa.

♦ Five-ship Indian naval training flotilla on visit to Colombo

A five-ship Indian naval training flotilla (a small fleet of ships or boats), is on a visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka to to expose the trainees to the conduct of warship in foreign waters and strengthen the bridges of friendship between India and Sri Lanka.

i. The five ships in this flotilla includes INS Tir, INS Sujata, INS Sudarshini, INS Shardul and Coast Guard vessel ICGS Sarathi.
ii. All these ships belong to the First Training Squadron of the Indian Navy and are functioning under the Southern Naval Command (SNC) headquartered in Kochi, Kerala.

♦ Indo-Bangla defense cooperation: Army training capsule in Patna

As a part of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh defense cooperation, an army training capsule on counter-insurgency operations will be conducted in Patna’s Danapur Cantonment from November 13, 2017 to December 10, 2017.

i. This training capsule will be first of its kind being organised for the Bangladesh Army at Danapur Cantonment.
ii. Five officers and 25 other ranks of the Bangladesh Army will attend this training. Experienced Indian Army training team will provide them skill based training on handling counter-insurgency / counter-terrorism operations in hostile environment.
iii. Colonel D.D. Swain will be heading the Indian Army training team.

♦ Navy chief launches document on joint training of 3 services

On November 14, 2017, Indian armed forces released ‘Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces – 2017’, aimed at ensuring integration amongst the three defence services and optimum utilisation of resources.

i. This document was released by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in presence of Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, IAF Chief, Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Lt Gen Satish Dua.
ii. This training document flows from ‘Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces -2017’ which was released in April 2017.
iii. ‘Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces – 2017’ brings out Indian Armed Forces’ approach to Joint training at macro-level, Fundamentals, Objectives, Joint Structures, Planning and Organisation.

♦ India successfully test-fires Brahmos from Sukhoi fighter jet

On November 22, 2017, Brahmos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired for the first time from the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet.
i. This test has not only increased the strike power of Indian Air Force, but has also accomplished the triad (capability to launch from air, sea and land) for Brahmos Missile.
ii. During this latest test, Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) hit a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal from the combat jet.
iii. With strike range of 290 km and weighing 2.5 ton, Brahmos ALCM is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet.

♦ India-Myanmar joint Army exercise “IMBAX-2017” begins in Meghalaya

First India-Myanmar bilateral military exercise 2017(IMBAX – 2017) begun on November 20, 2017 in Umroi in Meghalaya. IMBAX-2017 will continue till November 25, 2017.
More Information about IMBAX-2017:
i.This exercise is being held to train Myanmar’s army delegation for participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO).

♦ India conducts major exercise in strategically-located Andaman & Nicobar Islands

India has conducted a major military exercise in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Island archipelago.

Military exercise in Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
i. This is expected to help to counter China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and ensure security of sea lanes converging towards the Malacca Strait.
ii. The “Defence of A&N Islands Exercise” (DANX), with fighters, heavy-lift transport aircraft, warships, infantry combat vehicles, special forces and regular troops, was conducted from November 20 to 24, 2017 to fine-tune operational drills and synergy among the Army, Navy and Air Force in the region.

♦ IMMSAREX-17 begins in Cox’s Bazar

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise-2017 (IMMSAREX-17) started in Bay of Bengal on November 27, 2017.
More Information about IMMSAREX-17:
i. The exercise was inaugurated by Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid near Inani Beach at Cox’s Bazar.

♦ MHA conducts Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017

On November 24, 2017, Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a multi-State mega mock exercise on tsunami preparedness along the East Coast of India.
More Information about Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017:
i. This exercise was conducted through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)in 31 coastal districts across four States – West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu – and Union Territory Puducherry.

♦ Defence Ministry approves procurement of 260 naval communication sets

On 29th November 2017, the Defence Ministry approved procurement of 260 naval communication sets at a cost of Rs 490 crore to improvise surveillance on the high seas.
Procurement of 260 naval communication sets:
i. The decision of procuring these 260 naval communication sets was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

♦ U.S., South Korea to hold joint air force drill “Vigilant Ace”

The air forces of South Korea and the United States will hold ‘Vigilant Ace’ a joint drill from 4th – 8th December, 2017.
More Information about ‘Vigilant Ace’:
i. ‘Vigilant Ace’ between air forces of United States and South Korea is held at periodic intervals to simulate wartime defenses.
ii. Nearly 12000 U.S. personnel, including U.S. Marine Corps and Navy troops will participate in the upcoming edition of ‘Vigilant Ace’ along with South Korean troops.

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