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Australia, India deploy integrated combat formations in bilateral drill

The Australian Army personnel from the 13th Brigade conducted a joint training exercise with the Indian Army from 28 November to 11 December in Rajasthan, India. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian and Indian armies have conducted a bilateral training exercise with newly formed integrated combat units along India's western border with Pakistan.

The exercise called ‘Austra Hind 22' took place from 28 November to 11 December at the Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

The drills were conducted by the Australian Army contingent comprising soldiers from the 13th Brigade of the second division and the Indian Army troops from the second battalion of the Dogra Regiment.

An Australian defence spokesperson told Janes that the Indian Army requested to see the Australian Army's integrated and combined arms teaming concepts in action, which influenced the shape and size of the group of 45 soldiers from the 13th Brigade that took part in the exercise.

“13[th] Brigade is an integrated combat effects brigade. By design, every force package they [13th Brigade] generate is integrated and effects based,” the spokesperson added.

According to the spokesperson, the exercise was focused on the Australian and Indian armies' interoperability in a peacekeeping scenario. The training exercise was a good opportunity for both armies to share skills and ideas, the spokesperson added.

A senior Indian Army official told Janes that the exercise provided an opportunity for the armed forces of both countries to train in an integrated manner.

“The training was focused on deploying newly formed integrated battle group (IBG) for peacekeeping missions. During the exercise, multiple scenarios were rehearsed in a semi-desert plain to understand each other's organisational structure, battle procedures, and drills,” the official said.

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