Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
30-October-2009 17:21 IST
‘Ekuverin-09’ Indo-Maldivian troops joint exercise concludes
A joint exercise of the Indian and Maldivian troops named EKUVERIN or the ‘Lightening strike’ concluded today at the Rohideshwar Camp off Belgaum city. The Maldivian Defence Minister Mr. Ameen Faisal who was present to witness the mock drill on the final day said that this was a major step towards intensifying the defence cooperation between India and Maldives. The Maldives being a small island nation does not have the variety of terrain and training facilities that India has and the Maldivian Defence Minister thanked the Indian government for conducting such an exercise. Mr. Faisal said that this was the first time that the MNDF troops had come out of their country for a joint exercise and such international exposure and training would greatly help the Maldives National Defence Force.

The joint exercise which began on October 18 comprised of three stages. Firstly, familiarization was carried out in which the participants were made aware of the organization and rolls of each other’s defence forces. Next, during the training phase, the soldiers were told about the cordon and search operations, ambush operations, special techniques of commandos, road opening and convoy protection. In the third phase of the exercise, night navigation followed by cordon, search and destroy operations were carried out. Today, on the final day, a mock drill was carried out to evict the terrorists holed up in a house. This platoon level exercise was successful in sharing expertise in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism operations. From the Indian Army, the 16 Madras Batallion (One Officer, one JCO and 33 Other Ranks) and the 2 Para (One Officer and 6 Other Ranks) participated while five officers and 38 Other Ranks participated from the Maldives National Defence Force.

Sharing their experiences in India, Sergeant Asleef Khaleel and Lance Corporal Ali Zalif of the Maldivian troops said that coming from a flat nation it was an enriching experience for them to work in different terrains like mountains and valleys. Though the two nations had vast differences in terms of terrain and weather, they felt they were close culturally and said that the Bollywood flicks are quite popular in Maldives and they tune in regularly to the Hindi cable channels for their dose of soap operas.

Apart from the Defence Minister of Maldives, EKUVERIN-09 was witnessed by GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Lt. Gen Pradeep Khanna, Commandant of the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment Centre, Brigadier Sanjay Holey, the Male region Commander and Marine Corps Commandant Brigadier General Ahmed Shiyam.