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Security tips build army friendship
- Indo-Thai joint exercise to learn counter-insurgency skills in urban areas

Ramgarh, Sept. 8: Clearing roads littered with landmines and explosive devices in Naxalite and extremist areas for safety of security personnel and their convoys formed the basics of a training exercise of Thailand and Indian army sappers at Sikh Regimental Centre here today.

The training was part of the joint exercise, “Maitree”, between the armies of the two countries.

The mock drill included securing of road and clearing all improvised explosive devices, which maybe set up on the road and can affect supplies and life of security personnel.

The exercise included careful combing of the roads from where a convoy is to pass and jawans demonstrated the use of metal detectors and sniffer dogs to locate any unidentified object which might be an explosive. Once the explosive is located, it is not defused but is blown off by setting another charge next to it. To dismantle an explosive device often turns to be fatal and it is safer to blast it off, said an instructor at the centre.

Other training exercises included slithering from a helicopter and rappelling from a high-stone wall. Close-quarter firing and cross-firing at targets from point blank range were also conducted during the exercise. Each Indian sapper has been paired with a Thai soldier to enable them to work as a team and learn from each other.

The Thai troops, who are relatively new in the field of tackling counter insurgency in urban areas, would be given extensive training along with their Indian counterparts during the two-week joint exercise.

The Thai team of 49 members, including officers and soldiers, has been joined by an equal number of Indians from the 28 Punjab Battalion.

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