Anti-narcotic, anti-piracy, and counter-terrorism operations are the focus of an Indo-Seychelles military exercise taking place in Seychelles until March 4.
Participants from the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) and the Indian Army will also be involved in anti-hostage operations both on land and at sea. Both theory and practical sessions will be included in the training and exercise.
Seychelles’ Lieutenant Colonel Jean Attala said, “the exercise is a joint biennially exercise being held for eight days on Mahe. Around 95 military personnel – 45 coming from India are taking part in the exercise.”
Local participants come from the Special Forces, Coast Guard and Air Force. Two local vessels and one aircraft are involved in the exercise.
“Called ‘Lamitye’ (the creole word for ‘friendship’), the exercise is part of an agreement aimed at strengthening the two forces’ ability in carrying out counterinsurgency, counter terrorism, and anti-piracy operations,” said Attala.
Attala adds that the “members of the two forces will test their interoperability during the exercises with the aim of enhancing it.”
The main event of the joint exercise will be a field training exercise on March 2 for 24 hours on Mahe – the main island of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
Initiated in 2001, the military exercise has the principal aim of strengthening bonds of friendship between the SPDF and the Indian military. Seven such exercises have already been conducted so far.
The Indian army contingent from the 4/3 Gorkha Rifles arrived in Seychelles on February 23 and is expected to leave on March 4.