INDIA. Mumbai: A contingent of 38 personnel of the Indian Air Force (IAF) took part in the sixth edition of military exercise “Peaceful Mission-2021”, held under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), hosted by Russia in the Orenburg region.
Besides the IAF, the Indian Army represented India for the exercise. The Indian contingent landed in Russia on September 13 for the exercise which culminated on Saturday.
The IAF utilized its heavy-lift IL-76 aircraft for induction and de-induction of the entire Indian contingent. The IAF contingent consisted of transport crew, Garud Commandos, Para Jumping Instructors, interpreters, and representatives from different fleets.
In Russia, the contingent operated from two locations, the Orenburg military airfield (of southwest Russia) and the Donguz field firing range. The IAF’s commandos and para jumpers participated in Combat Free Fall missions during the exercise, from the IL-76 aircraft. Besides military drills with other participating nations, the contingent also took part in informal interactions and cultural exchange events, a Defence spokesman said.
The Indian military contingent comprising an all arms combined force of 200 personnel including 38 personnel from the Indian Air Force participated in the exercise. The Indian contingent was inducted to the exercise area by two IL-76 aircraft. Before their departure, the contingent underwent training and preparation under the aegis of the Army’s South Western Command.
The exercise aimed to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance the abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents.
The joint counter-terrorism exercise ‘Peaceful Mission’ is a multilateral exercise, which is conducted biennially as part of military diplomacy between SCO member states. The exercise was organized to enable to share of best practices between the Armed Forces of SCO nations. It provided an opportunity to the Armed Forces of SCO Nations to train in Counter-Terrorism Operations in an urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment.
The scope of the exercise included professional interaction, mutual understanding of drills and procedures, the establishment of joint command, control structures, and the elimination of terrorist threats. The exercise was a landmark event in military interactions and global cooperation to counter-terrorism.
In the past, Pakistan, China, and India have taken part in multinational military exercises. However, last year, India did not send troops for the SCO military exercise where both China and Pakistan were present. The SCO is an economic and security bloc in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. Its founding members included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.