• Friday, April 3, 2020

Indo-UK joint military exercise in Belgaum, sans bullets?

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by shree835, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. shree835

    shree835 BANNED

    Jun 26, 2010
    +0 / 3,563 / -22
    India might be embarrassed, if the British troops arriving in Belgaum for a month-long joint exercise with the Indian Army return without firing a single bullet, thanks to the state government’s November 2012 decision denotifying the Bagdad Asmara Field Firing Range.

    Ex Ajeya Warrior, to be held from Wednesday to April 29, aims at testing the preparedness of both the armies to carry out joint counter-insurgency operations in an international atmosphere.
    The Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC) is the nodal agency for this exercise under the Army’s Southern Command.

    Sources told Express that the 100-member British contingent is reaching Belgaum on Wednesday. While MLIRC officials refused to give out any details, Maj Gen K S Venugopal, former GOC, K&K Sub-Area, told reporters in Bangalore on Sunday that the ‘event will go on as per the schedule.’

    The guns have fallen silent at the Bagdad Asmara range ever since the government went back on its earlier stand of notifying the range till 2020. The government had issued a denotification order on November 23 2012, prematurely terminating a contract issued on May 24, 2000, permitting the Army to use the land for artillery and field firing purposes (7,469 acres) till 2020.

    They Can’t Fire: MP

    During an informal interaction with Express at Bangalore International Airport on March 30, Belgaum MP (BJP) Suresh Angadi had said he was not against the Army, but only the range.

    “I am not aware of the joint exercise. The state government circular clearly says that they can’t fire even a single bullet. The Army has been shown another place for the range and they should move on,” the MP said.

    Angadi has been waging a battle against the Army for shifting the range after he built the Angadi Institute of Technology and Management in the danger area of the range. While the Army says that the institute has come up flouting all norms and sans any NOC, the MP claimed that he was well within his rights to provide better education to the children of his constituency.

    ‘Training Badly Hit’

    Army sources with the Southern Command say that the recruitment training, commando operations have been hit ever since the firing ban came into force.

    “Now, the joint exercise too will be affected. Today, there is not a single notified firing range at Belgaum. It is an infantry outfit and how can the soldiers be trained without firing their rifles? We are aware that the training in Belgaum has been badly affected,” said a senior Army officer.

    The Indo-UK joint exercise is conducted alternatively in each country with the last one in India held in 2010. Army conducts joint training exercises with foreign countries, including the US, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

    “The issues involved in the joint training are inter-operability, functional capabilities, familiarity of each others’ weapons and ground-level tactics in dealing with Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism situations. The exercise is also aimed at increasing defence cooperation, understanding the synergy between both the armies and countries,” said a source.

    Pressure on Delhi

    With the state getting on to election mode, the Army officials have to keep their gun powder dry to sort out the issue permanently, till a new regime takes charge.

    The Land, Works and Environment wing at the Army HQ in Delhi is preparing a strategy to address the issue. The joint exercise might be held finally as a formality, rather than a prestigious combat event, if the firing permission doesn’t come through. The Army HQ now wants New Delhi to impress

    upon the Karnataka government to revoke the denotification so as to undertake firing during the course of the exercise.

    “The Army can pay compensation and acquire the land even now. How can a private land be leased out for a national cause without the compensation being paid? The Army knew it in advance about the joint exercise and they should have taken special permission. Now the matter has to be dealt with the Belgaum DC as he is the state government’s representative to take a decision,” the official said.


  2. Capt.Popeye

    Capt.Popeye ELITE MEMBER

    Apr 5, 2010
    +24 / 14,994 / -12
    See how the Effing BJP MP Suresh Angadi screwed up the Army's plans. Just to set up his Angadi institute and rake in the moolah!
    Baap ka Raaj hai! :lol: