The two-week long eighth edition of the Indo-Maldives joint military exercise, ‘Ekuverin’, will be conducted at Belagavi, about 505 km from here. The bilateral annual exercise is a 14-day joint military training between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), which is held alternatively in India and Maldives since 2009. ‘Ekuverin’ means ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language. The seventh edition of the exercise was held at Kadhdhoo, Lammu Atoll, the Maldives in December 2016.
The focus of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of a counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations in an urban or semi-urban environment under the United Nations (UN) Charter, with an overall aim to enhance interoperability between the two armies, an official release said. It said the exercise will see the contingents hone their tactical and technical skills, and also provide an opportunity for the two armies to activate the Joint Operations Centre at Belagavi.
The MNDF will be represented by a team comprising two officers and 43 other ranks, while the Indian Army by three officers, as many junior commissioned officers and 39 other ranks belonging to a Gorkha Rifles Battalion (Sirmoor Rifles). The opening ceremony of the exercise, scheduled for tomorrow, will witness a flypast by the Army Aviation team along with a march past by the contingent from both the countries in the presence of the pipe and drums band of the Gorkha Regiment.