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India- Russia First Tri-Service Military Exercise Indra -2017 Opens At Vladivostok

National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 20 October 2017
In a glittering opening ceremony at Vladivostok, Russia this morning Indian Task Force Commander Maj Gen ND Prasad and Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation Lt Gen Solomatin declared the tri-service Exercise INDRA 2017 open.

The opening ceremony witnessed Maj Gen ND Prasad and Lt Gen Solomatin inspecting the smartly turned out contingents, which was followed by a march past by the tri-service contingents of both sides. The opening ceremony also witnessed an astounding display of traditional martial arts and folk dances by the Indian troops and a flypast by four fighter aircraft of Russian Federation Air Force.

The Indian contingent comprising of personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force at the ceremonial parade in the opening ceremony of Ex Indra 2017 at VladivostokThe Indian contingent comprising of personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force at the ceremonial parade in the opening ceremony of Ex Indra 2017 at Vladivostok
The Indian contingent comprising of personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force at the ceremonial parade in the opening ceremony of Ex Indra 2017 at Vladivostok

In his opening address, Maj Gen ND Prasad, the Indian Task Force Commander said that the initiative taken for the first ever tri-service exercise between both countries reflects the vibrancy of the continued Indo-Russian strategic partnership and that with the rich operational experience of both Russian and Indian armies in counter insurgency operations, both sides will gain immensely from each other and further develop their capabilities. Lt Gen Solomatin, Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation stated that the tri-service exercise will further strengthen the relationship between the two defence forces and lead to enhanced mutual cooperation between the two great countries.

Lt Gen JS Negi, leader of the tri-services Observer delegation, during his media interaction, said that the conduct of the first ever tri-service exercise between the two countries is a significant step in mutual cooperation and marks an important milestone in the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He expressed his confidence that the joint training between the two defence forces over the next ten days will result in gaining from the experience and best practices of each other and would further enhance mutual confidence.

The opening ceremony was followed by a ceremonial banquet hosted by the Russian side, where both sides interacted in an informal atmosphere and expressed their common intent and strong resolve to conduct the exercise in a professional manner, so as to achieve the overall objectives of Exercise INDRA 2017.

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INDRA- 2017 Curtain Raiser

Traditional Russian welcome to Indian contingent led by Task Force Commander Major Gen ND Prasad
Traditional Russian welcome to Indian contingent led by Task Force Commander Major Gen ND Prasad

19 October 2017
India and Russia have had longstanding military and diplomatic ties and to preserve these bonds of cooperation, India and Russia undertake annual military exercise INDRA. This milestone in military cooperation of the two nations epitomizes their strong and resilient relations. INDRA-2017 is the first tri-service bilateral exercise between the two countries.

On 18 Oct 2017, Indian contingent flew in IL-76 aircraft of the Indian Air Force to Vladivostok comprising of Army and Air Force personnel. The contingent, led by the Task Force Commander, Maj Gen ND Prasad was accorded a warm welcome by Commander of the Fifth Army of Russian Eastern Military District, Maj Gen Kutuzov.

On 19 Oct 2017, two indigenously built Indian Naval ships INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt arrived at Vladivostok Port and were given a traditional ceremonial welcome. Rear Admiral Anatoliy Zelinsky, Deputy Commander, Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy was present on the occasion.

Indian contingent disembarking from an IL-76 of Indian Air Force at Vladivostok International Airport
Indian contingent disembarking from an IL-76 of Indian Air Force at Vladivostok International Airport

Earlier in the day, the delegation led by Maj Gen ND Prasad, Task Force Commander called on Mr Alexey Litvinov, the acting Mayor of Vladivostok. Maj Gen ND Prasad thanked the Mayor for the extremely warm welcome accorded to the Indian contingent and expressed the hope that the exercise would lead to increased mutual cooperation between the two countries. Also, the Naval Component Commander Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta interacted with Admiral Sergei Avakyants, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Pacific Fleet in a warm and cordial atmosphere.

Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, inspecting a Guard of Honour at the welcome ceremony of the Indian Naval ships at Vladivostok
Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, inspecting a Guard of Honour at the welcome ceremony of the Indian Naval ships at Vladivostok

An observer delegation led by Lt Gen JS Negi along with Air Vice Marshal VR Chaudhari and Rear Admiral V Sreenivas visited the 249 Sergeyvsky Training Ranges where a major part of the Army and Air Force component of tri-service exercise INDRA-2017 will be conducted. The delegation was briefed on the overall conduct of the exercise, after which they visited the camp where the contingent was being accommodated.

INDRA-2017 will serve towards strengthening mutual confidence and interoperability as well as sharing of the best practices between the armed forces of both the countries. The joint tri-service exercise will be a demonstration of the increasing commitment of both nations to address common challenges across the full spectrum of operations.

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