Opening ceremony: Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019
The inaugural Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 for India and African nations called AFINDEX-19 scheduled from 18 March to 27 March 2019 started with a grand opening ceremony on 18 March 2019 at Aundh Military Station, Pune. Contingents of the 17 African Nations i.e. Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe came together for the opening ceremony alongwith a contingent of Maratha Light Infantry representing India.
Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding, Golden Katar Division, who was the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony, reviewed the parade, in presence of a large number of Defence Attaches and other officials of participating nations. A fly past by a set of Advanced Light Helicopters and Cheetah Helicopter of the Indian Army carrying the flags of United Nations, India and the AFINDEX was the highlight of the opening ceremony.
The Chief Guest and Defence Attaches from various nations interacted with the contingents after the completion of the parade.
The aim of the exercise is to practice the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of United Nations Peace Keeping Operations. The exercise will focus on exchange of best practices between the participating nations, team building and tactical level operations in conduct of United Nations mandated tasks to include establishment of a new mission, siting of a United Nations Headquarters for Peace Keeping operations, siting of Military Observer sites during the peace keeping missions, protection of civilians, nuances of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and aspects related to Humanitarian Mine Assistance. [PIB India Press release]