PUNE :-The second edition of Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX- 2023) between India and 23 nations of the African continent commenced today at Foreign Training Node, Aundh, Pune. 100 participants from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are attending this unique field training exercise. The participants were addressed by Lieutenant General Rakesh Kapoor, VSM, Corps Cdr, Desert Corps.

The joint exercise is in keeping with India’s outreach with Africa, which commenced in 2008 through the India-Africa Summit and has been thereafter held in 2015 and 2019. The theme of the exercise is focused on Humanitarian Mine Action and Peace Keeping Operations. The Military co-operation and engagement between the participating member nations are vital for refining the interoperability and operational preparedness for UN peace keeping operations.

The objectives of the exercise are to continue to build upon the initiatives taken to strengthen India-Africa relations, with a focus on enhancing peace and security, to create opportunities to create ideas and perspectives, learn from the African experience in cooperative security and management of security crisis situations as well as to promote a collaborative approach in capacity enhancement of African armies.

The exercise is divided into four phases. Initially, the trainers have been trained. This will now be followed by a Humanitarian Mine Action and a Peace Keeping Operations Phase; finally, culminating in a validation exercise to assess the results of the training conducted. The primary focus of the joint exercise will remain on tactical drills, procedures and the ability to operate jointly with seamless interoperability. The joint exercise will bring out practical aspects of the theme based training and aims to enable the participants to comprehend and put in practice the validated drills and procedures through situational based discussions and tactical exercise. India would also be conducting the Defence Chief’s conclave on the sidelines from 28 to 30 March 2023 during which the visiting Chiefs will witness the proceedings of the validation exercise.

Maximum use of indigenous equipment is being made during the exercise. New generation equipment manufactured in India will be showcased during the exercise to give a feel of their efficacy to the troops of the participating nations. The exercise looks forward to Regional Unity between Africa and India for the Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR).

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