Umroi, Meghalaya: The annual bilateral joint exercise between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army (RTA) MAITREE-2019 commenced on Monday at the Foreign Training Node (FTN), Umroi, Meghalaya. The aim of the exercise is joint training of troops in counter-terrorism operations in both jungle terrain and urban scenario. Exercise MAITREE-2019 has been the face of long-standing bilateral ties between India and Thailand since 2006. The exercise will be conducted between September 16 to September 29.
The 14 days exercise will be conducted under the framework of the United Nations mandate. The contingents of Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army comprising of 50 soldiers each participating in the exercise. Both contingents will share their valuable experiences in the conduct of counter-terrorism operations in the form of lectures, drills, demonstrations and skill-at-arms with an aim to refine tactics, techniques and procedures during MAITREE.
The exercise will culminate with a 48 hours joint exercise which will showcase the planning and execution of joint skills of soldiers while conducting any counter-terrorism operation.
The diplomatic relations between India and Thailand were established after India's independence in 1947. Both countries have witnessed growing warmth, increasing economic and commercial links. Several agreements for development, exchange of high-level visits on both sides are some other common signs of healthy relations between India and Thailand. Also, Thailand and India are culturally linked for centuries and India has had a deep influence on Thai culture.
Exercise MAITREE with Thailand is significant in terms of the security challenges faced by both nations. The importance of MAITREE exercise covers company level joint training on counter-terrorism operations in the jungle and urban scenario. It will improve the level of defence co-operation between the Indian Army (IA) and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) which in turn will further foster defence cooperation and bilateral relations between the two nations.