The scope of the exercise includes synergising joint responses during counter-terrorist operations
Personnel from the Indian and Sri Lankan armies and air forces commenced joint military drills on Thursday (November 16, 2023) as part of the ninth edition of 'Exercise Mitra Shakti'. The exercise is being conducted in Aundh (Pune) from November 16 to 29, 2023. 
According to the Ministry of Defence, the aim of the exercise is to jointly rehearse conduct of Sub-Conventional Operations under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The scope of the exercise includes synergising joint responses during counter-terrorist operations. 
The Indian contingent comprises 120 personnel and is represented mainly by troops from the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment. The Sri Lankan side is being represented by personnel from 53 Infantry Division. Fifteen personnel from the Indian Air Force and five personnel from the Sri Lankan Air Force are also participating in the exercise.
During Exercise Mitra Shakti-2023, both sides will practice tactical actions such as raid, search and destroy missions, and heliborne operations. In addition, Army Martial Arts Routine (AMAR), combat reflex shooting and Yoga will also form part of the exercise curriculum.
The exercise will also involve employment of Drones and Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems besides helicopters. Drills to secure helipads and undertake casualty evacuation during counter-terrorist operations will also be rehearsed jointly by both sides. 
"Collective efforts will focus on achieving an enhanced level of interoperability amongst the troops and reduce the risk of life and property while keeping the interests and agenda of the UN at the forefront during peacekeeping operations," the Ministry of Defence said. 
During the exercise, both sides will exchange views and practices of joint drills on a wide spectrum of combat skills that will facilitate the participants to mutually learn from each other. 
"Sharing of best practices will further enhance the level of defence cooperation between Indian Army and Sri Lankan Army. The exercise will also foster strong bilateral relations between the two neighbouring nations," the Ministry of Defence noted.