Indian Army begins joint military exercises with Egypt, Kyrgyzstan


The Indian and Egyptian armies on Monday began an 11-day military exercise in Egypt’s Anshas in line with the overall aim of the two nations to expand bilateral defence and security engagement.

This is the second edition of the special forces exercise, with the first being conducted in India last year.

The Indian contingent comprises 25 personnel from the Parachute Regiment (special forces) at the second edition of the India-Egypt exercise ‘Cyclone’. They are joined by the Egyptian contingent, consisting of 25 personnel represented by the Egyptian Commando Squadron and the Egyptian Airborne Platoon.

The aim of the exercise is to acquaint both sides with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of special operations in desert or semi-desert terrain under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The exercise is designed to develop bilateral military cooperation and strengthen bonds between the two armies through discussions and the rehearsal of tactical military drills.

The exercise will provide an opportunity for both contingents to strengthen their bond and share best practices. It will also act as a platform to achieve shared security objectives and foster bilateral relations between two friendly nations.

The exercise will involve the planning and execution of special operations in the subconventional domain and will be conducted in three phases. While the first phase will include military exhibitions and tactical interactions, the second phase will focus on training on Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), counter-IED, and combat first aid. The third and final phase will encompass joint tactical exercises based on fighting in built-up areas and hostage rescue scenarios.

The India-Egypt bilateral ties have been strengthening consistently in recent years.

In 2022, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Egyptian Defence Minister General Mohamed Zaki signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Cairo, Egypt, on cooperation in the field of defence. The MoU was aimed at enhancing defence cooperation across all sectors of mutual interest.

Similarly, during a state visit to India from January 24-27 last year, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi witnessed a historic moment as a combined band and marching contingent of 144 soldiers from the Egyptian Armed Forces, representing its main branches, marched over Kartavya Path for the first time.

India accords geopolitical and geostrategic importance to its relationship with Egypt and recognises it as a crucial political and military power in its extended neighbourhood. Egypt is uniquely located, connecting the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean Sea, which is significant for India’s maritime trade.

Meanwhile, a joint special forces exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan commenced at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) in Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.

The exercise scheduled to be conducted from January 22 to February 3 will emphasise developing Special Forces skills and advanced techniques of insertion and extraction.

It is the 11th edition of an annual event conducted alternately in both countries. The Indian Army contingent, comprising 20 personnel, is being represented by troops from the Parachute Regiment (special forces), and the Kyrgyzstan contingent, comprising 20 personnel, is represented by its Scorpion Brigade.

The aim of the exercise is to exchange experiences and best practices in counterterrorism and special forces operations in built-up areas and mountainous terrain under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

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