Indian and Myanmar armies began their maiden joint exercise in at Umroi in Meghalaya on Monday.

A total of 15 officers from the Myanmar Army and 16 from the Indian Army are taking part in the six-day India-Myanmar Bilateral Army Exercise (IMBAX), which is slated to last until Saturday.

General Officer Commanding, Red Horns Division, Major General PS Behl welcomed the Myanmar and Indian army contingents at the newly-inaugurated state-of-the-art Joint Training Node at Umroi Cantonment, about 25 km from Shillong.

“The basic aim of the exercise is to learn bilaterally from both nations. India is a major contributor to peace keeping and we have much varied experience in different peace-keeping operations,” Behl told reporters here.

Stating that India and Myanmar had very good relations and the Myanmar Army and the Indian Army are the best of friends, the army officer said, “We are sure, with our experience and our infrastructure over here, we shall be able to impart adequate knowledge to them and prepare them for future peace-keeping operations.”

Brigadier S Murugesan, who is leading the Indian delegation, said the exercise had been specially designed by the Indian Peace Keeping Centre, known as the Centre for UN Peace Keeping, New Delhi.

“The aim of the exercise is to train the Myanmar Army to participate in UN operations either as individuals or as members of the contingent. I hope this joint training exercise will further strengthen our defence cooperation and bilateral relations,” he said.

The training curriculum will equip the participants of the Myanmar Army with the requisite knowledge and skills to meet the evolving challenges of peacekeeping operations in accordance with principles, policies and guidelines of the United Nations.

On the other hand, Colonel Aung Kyaw Htun, who is leading the Myanmarese contingent, said the joint military exercise would benefit their army.

“This is the first India-Myanmar military exercise. We will learn more from them (Indian Army) and we hope to have similar exercise with our friends from the Indian Army in Myanmar,” Htun, who also heads the Department of Strategic Studies of the Myanmar Army, said.

Indian and Bangladesh armies successfully conducted Exercise SAMPRITI at Umroi Joint Training Node on November 11.

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