With Malaysian counterparts, Indian soldiers learn forest survival techniques, battlecraft

 With Malaysian counterparts, Indian soldiers learn forest survival techniques, battlecraft

Written by Sushant Kulkarni
| Pune |

Published: May 4, 2018 5:27:05 am

A joint training exercise called ‘Harimau Shakti’ has been underway in Malaysia from Tuesday.

A contingent of the Indian Army, which is in Malaysia for a joint military exercise in jungle warfare, has started its training with lessons in forest survival techniques and basics of battlecraft, as per the Malaysian Army’s doctrine. As part of Indo-Malaysian defence cooperation, a joint training exercise called ‘Harimau Shakti’ has been underway in Malaysia since Tuesday. The first half of the two-week exercise is being held at Wardieburn Camp in Kuala Lumpur, while the second half will be held in the forests of Sengai Perdik in Malaysia’s Hulu Langat region. India is being represented by officers and soldiers from 4 Grenadiers, a unit under the Southern Command, which has its headquarters in Pune.

During the exercise, both countries will share their expertise in conducting counter-insurgency operations in jungle terrain. “Insurgency is among the main challenges before the Indian Army, mainly in the northeast but also in other sectors. Though our soldiers and officers receive training at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte in Mizoram, there is a lot to learn from the Malaysian Army and the people of this country, in the fields of jungle survival, warcraft and strategies,” said an Indian Army officer.

“From Day 1, as part of the cross-training phase, practical lessons in various forms of field craft and battlecraft were imparted by the instructor staff from the Army Combat Training Centre of Malaysia. The key to jungle warfare is survival, and effectively using available resources, especially when conducting prolonged operations. Instructors of the Malaysian Army explained various aspects, including novel ways of pitching hammocks, constructing jungle huts, setting up booby traps and animal traps, and using methods to light a fire with locally available resources and cooking food with local ingredients. There have also been interactions with the natives of Sarawak region of Eastern Malaysia. Learning different ways of making fish traps and animal traps is a great addition to the knowledge base of Indian soldiers,” added the officer.

“Techniques of lighting fire in extremely rainy conditions, and using a stone knife to do that was a learning experience as crucial as gaining knowledge about improvised explosive devices,” said the officer. “The Army combat engineers from both sides have also shared their expertise on radio-controlled improvised explosive devices. Along with the soldierly qualities, what connects the two contingents is the fact that the Malaysian Army has, in its ranks, soldiers and officers of both Malaysian and Indian origin,” he added.

Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Mridul Kumar, also visited the Wardieburn Army camp and addressed the participants. “The High Commissioner expressed his deep appreciation for the men and women who safeguard the borders of any nation. He also emphasised the significance of Malaysia in the extended neighbourhood of India and how the strong and affectionate relationship between the two nations has stood the test of times. He complimented the contingent of 4 Grenadiers for actively participating and being part of this prestigious joint training exercise,” said another Army officer.

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