India and Bangladesh commenced the 11th edition of their annual joint military exercise, SAMPRITI, in Umroi, Meghalaya. This collaborative endeavor, organized alternately by both countries, highlights their robust bilateral defence cooperation initiatives. Since its inception in Jorhat, Assam, in 2009, SAMPRITI has successfully conducted ten editions until 2022. SAMPRITI-XI, spanning 14 days, engages approximately 350 personnel from both sides, emphasizing the significance of enhancing interoperability, sharing tactical drills, and promoting best practices.
A Decade of Cooperation: SAMPRITI’s Legacy
The history of SAMPRITI dates back to 2009, when it was first established as a platform for joint military exercises between India and Bangladesh. Over the past decade, this initiative has witnessed substantial growth, becoming a symbol of the strong defence ties between the two nations.
SAMPRITI-XI: A Comprehensive Engagement
SAMPRITI-XI involves the participation of 170 personnel from the Bangladesh contingent, led by Brigadier General Mohammed Mafizul Islam Rashed, Commander of the 52 Bangladesh Infantry Brigade. The lead unit on the Bangladesh Army side is the 27 Bangladesh Infantry Regiment. The Indian contingent primarily comprises troops from a battalion of the RAJPUT Regiment, under the leadership of Brigadier SK Anand, Commander of a Mountain Brigade. Additionally, the exercise features personnel from various units, including artillery, engineers, and other supporting arms and services, from both sides.
Focus on Sub-Conventional Operations
The core theme of SAMPRITI-XI revolves around Sub-Conventional Operations as per Chapter VII of the UN mandate. The exercise includes two significant components:
1. Command Post Exercise (CPX)
Twenty officers from each contingent will participate in the CPX, which emphasizes decision-making following thorough deliberations. This segment of the exercise aims to enhance strategic planning and coordination between the Indian and Bangladeshi military officials.
2. Field Training Exercise (FTX)
The FTX validates grassroots-level operations and includes a series of joint tactical drills. These drills focus on counter-terrorist operations, covering aspects such as hostage rescue, crowd control measures, and the use of helicopters in counter-terrorist scenarios. The FTX showcases the importance of seamless collaboration between the two armies in high-pressure situations.
Culmination: Validation Exercise
The exercise culminates in a Validation Exercise, scheduled for October 14th and 15th, 2023, at the Darranga Field Firing Range in Assam. This final phase allows both Indian and Bangladeshi contingents to put their acquired knowledge and skills to the test in a realistic and challenging environment.
Showcasing ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
As part of SAMPRITI-XI, participants will have the opportunity to witness the capabilities of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ through an Equipment Display. This showcase highlights India’s self-reliance in defense manufacturing and technology.
Strengthening Bilateral Relations
SAMPRITI-XI reaffirms the commitment of both India and Bangladesh to enhancing their defence cooperation. Beyond the military aspect, this joint exercise fosters deeper bilateral relations, cultural understanding, and mutual benefits arising from shared experiences in Sub-Conventional Operations. It serves as a testament to the enduring friendship between the two neighboring nations and their shared commitment to regional stability and security.